Just when you think you know everything there is to know about the Disneyland Resort, things change. This week’s update brings news of some of the revisions expected for the new version of Fantasmic at Disneyland. New name, new scenes, new music, it’s a familiar but very different show. We’ll give you the scoop below. Also, word is leaking that Halloween may move from Disneyland to DCA for the 2017 season. Plus, photos and updates from around the Disneyland Resort. This is a big photo update with some juicy new details, so let’s get going . . .


All tarps and construction equipment were recently removed from Tom Sawyer Island to facilitate nighttime rehearsals for the new version of Fantasmic. Right off the bat we’ll assure you that the show LOOKS beautiful. The new projections are amazing, crisp, and have never looked better. The show also appears to have a new title. Instead of “Fantasmic!,” it’s now “Fantasmic!!” – the two exclamation points indicating “Fantasmic 2.0”

Fantasmic barges under tarps during the day.


The big change in the show is the replacement of the Peter Pan scene with a Pirates of the Caribbean scene.

The masts have finally returned to the Columbia. They’ve been rehearsing on both of the big ships.
If you look closely at the Columbia, you might spot some of the props.

New digital mapping projectors have been installed for the show. While they work great on fixed objects and help make the show feel more magical, the Fantasmic team is having a great deal of trouble getting them to work on moving objects. Most notably, the attempt to project onto the Columbia and onto moving actors on the ship to make them look like skeletons is not working out. For this effect to work, the ship must be in exactly the right spot at the right time and all actors must hit their marks perfectly without fail every time. The current manual tracking of the ship and actors is frustrating everyone. There are tracking solutions available which Disney may opt to explore at additional cost to the show, or they could give up on the attempt to project images onto the ship and use florescent paint and black-light to achieve a similar effect (and with far fewer points of failure). Let’s hope they work this one out before show time as it really does look spectacular when everything is just right.

New projectors are hidden with camouflage tarps during the day.


A Lion King segment now replaces Kaa (the snake), but the scene still transitions into the traditional monkey scene everyone loves. There’s also a new Aladdin section of the show. For the princess scene, Ariel will now be featured with legs and not in her fin; Belle remains still in her normal spot. However, a very top secret third princess will replace Snow White.

Much of the musical score also seems to have been updated. While the music is familiar, the show now has much more of a pop beat to it.

The changes are exciting, but there is concern that frequent Fantasmic viewers will find the show too drastically altered. We think that as long as the new segments match or surpass the quality of the old ones, the fans will likely embrace the revised show. After all, these updates help insure that Fantasmic will last for years to come.

Are you looking forward to the return of the reworked Fantasmic!!? Click To Tweet

Saving Seats for Parade and Fireworks

Disney recently changed their policy regarding the saving of seats for Electrical Parade and Fireworks. The new rule prevents guests from saving spots until after the ropes go up. However, they don’t seem to be doing a very good job enforcing the policy. Only guests attempting to put down blankets early are being stopped for now. Or, perhaps they are already finding the new policy too hard to enforce.

MaxPass Coming Soon

Disney is working at a rapid pace to install the MaxPass scanners at the entry to all current FastPass attractions as well as to some news ones. If you see some strange new covered poles at your favorite attractions, it’s for MaxPass.

MaxPass is coming to Star Tours. The ride remains open while the new FastPass entry is constructed.

It’s hard to tell with all the crowds in Tomorrowland, but the FastPass line on Saturday stretched all the way to the Star Trader! We’ve never seen the FastPass line so long before.

Red Rose Taverne

The Beauty and the Beast overlay of Village Haus restaurant has been a BIG success. The food is inventive and pretty good, folks love the desserts, the decor fits well into Fantasyland . . . and most importantly, the place is always packed.

The line gets long, but moves fast.

The chicken sandwich tastes great and packs a punch.
The Poutine Fries are also really good.


Everyone wants the Grey Stuff . . . and, yes, it’s delicious.
But I liked the Lemon Rose Cake a little better than the Grey Stuff.

They continue to enhance the restaurant decor. Two new stained glass windows have been added.



Oh what a guy . . .
This is fun. At the exit, the ottoman is pulling the Exit sign into place. This is actually a tribute to what was formerly in this spot . . .
Previously, Figaro was here in a similar pose. The reason he was there at all was because a beam was in the center of that wall and they couldn’t place the Exit sign there. Since they had to place it off center, they painted Figaro to fill out the space and make it all look like it fit.


Disneyland Photo Update

It was another super busy weekend. All the ticket booths were open and the lines were completely full on both sides of the Esplanade on Saturday.

Upon walking into the park, we found a real treat . . .

Dave Avanzino was in the Disney Gallery this weekend. He’s one of our favorite artists. Such amazing and beautiful work!  

The Gallery also has some Beauty and the Beast merchandise on display right now.

A beautiful Winnie the Pooh piece is in the vault.


The windows on Main Street are beginning to be dressed for Easter.

And then reality set in . . . it was going to be another very busy day.   

You know when there are people standing 4 deep to watch the Dapper Dan’s that the park is packed. Thankfully it’s little entertainment acts like this that help make busy days tolerable.
I was stopped 3 times on Saturday by survey people. Once at entry, once on Main Street, and once on Buena Vista Street.

Don’t you love those pink trees around the Hub?


Those people aren’t waiting to see Path of the Jedi (no one is ever in that line), AP Days is using the queue for folks waiting on average 30 to 40 minutes to enter the event in the old Starcade.


Something that really stuck out to me this week was the huge stroller parking areas all over the park. In some places, they really pinch off traffic, which is a rough thing on a busy day.

Matterhorn is under refurbishment. When it returns, it will have FastPass for the first time.

With the River attractions down, in addition to Pirates and Matterhorn, the remaining attractions have been very busy.
Small World was so crowded that the entire upper tier of the parade viewing area was completely switchbacked for the attraction.

I love Storybook Land, but this line was insane.

50 minutes for a quick spin on Dumbo . . . No thank you!

From up here, all looks great. . .
But look down a bit and you’ll find pathways packed with people and a very long line for Peter Pan.
Construction continues at Snow White’s wishing well.

The Royal Theater’s Beauty and the Beast performances are very popular.

The Grey Stuff twist with dipping sauce is pretty good folks.

Don’t shoot the messenger.


The switchback for Big Thunder was also beyond all reason.

Oh, wait . . . here’s the reason. . . Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the biggest people eaters in the Resort. Pirates being closed, along with so many other attractions, is REALLY having an impact on the park.

With Mardi Gras over, the decorations have come down and the area has returned to normal for the first time since November.

Another big people eater is doing its best to absorb some of the crowds. Mansion has been slammed lately and the queues stretch into the surrounding areas.

Back by Hungry Bear, you can see the new back of the river rising very quickly. Rock work is rapidly coming together and the tracks for the river boats is just about to be installed.

The footers on the bottom of the river bed are where the rail will be attached.


And the walkway that will stretch from the Hungry Bear around to Star Wars land is also starting to come together.

Adventureland is so difficult on busy days. They should just make it one way traffic when the park is under these extreme conditions.


I finally stopped to pick up my Moana Sipper from Bengal Barbecue. It’s also available at the Dole Whip stand.


Star Wars Land Construction

There’s a lot of work for Disney to complete between now and the 2019 opening of Star Wars land. But real progress is being made.

The Battle Escape attraction is growing quickly now.

The building is massive.
Looking back toward the Hungry Bear, you can see the new pathway being built between the river and the restaurant.
Rock work which hides the new Fantasmic service area is nearly complete.
We have lots more Star Wars construction shots for you in our recent Star Wars Land News HERE.


Halloween Moves to DCA in 2017

We heard this week from a couple of our sources that the decision has been made to move Halloween from Disneyland back to Disney California Adventure in 2017. With Disneyland’s increased attendance and with Star Wars Land on the way, we can understand why such a change would be necessary. But DCA will really need to step things up to be an acceptable substitute for Disneyland’s great event. We’d like to hear your ideas on what DCA might offer which would make it a good Halloween Party destination.

What could DCA do to be a spootacular Halloween party destination? Click To Tweet

Join the discussion about HOW Disney should make DCA a more attractive Halloween destination on the MiceChat forums HERE.

DCA Food and Wine Festival 2017

DCA’s Food and Wine Festival will run from March 10th through April 16th this year. With the Festival launching this weekend, booths are already set into place awaiting their menus.

One thing we really like about the DCA festival are the standing tables which provide convenient spots to eat.

This little booth stands where the stage was last year. This is just in front of the Monsters Inc. ride.

Just in time for Food and Wine, the grape vines at the winery are starting to bud.

Disney claims that the festival will be twice the size of last year’s event. And here’s the food, some of which sounds amazing:

Nuts About Cheese

  • Brie toast with fig and mint and roasted California almond crumble
  • Baked ham and Swiss cheese croque monsieur roll with smoked pistachios
  • Chèvre fromage blanc tartine infused with rosemary and honey, topped with toasted hazelnuts
  • Almond milk tea with pudding

Uncork California

  • White wine flight
  • Red wine flight
  • Mimosa flight

I Heart Artichokes

  • Artichoke carbonara with garlic aioli and smoked bacon
  • Grilled and chilled artichoke hearts with Romesco sauce
  • Creamy artichoke and dark chocolate cake pop
  • Orange iced tea with orange pearls

Garlic Kissed

  • Grilled beef tenderloin slider with chimichurri sauce
  • Black garlic soy-braised pork belly bao with pickled vegetables
  • Garlic-rosemary and avocado oil ice cream pop

California Craft Brews

  • Southern California flight
  • Northern California flight

Complete Foodie Guide to Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017

Olive Us

  • Chilled Cioppino soup with shrimp, crab claw and grilled olive bread
  • Warm olive focaccia with olive oil and sea salt
  • Vanilla bean crème fraîche panna cotta with Amarena cherry jus and EVOO madeleine

Bacon Twist

  • Baby iceberg and heirloom tomato wedge with peppered bacon and blue cheese dressing
  • Smoked bacon mac and cheese with barbecue-seasoned crispy onions
  • Maple-bacon Whoopie Pie

Complete Foodie Guide to Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017

Lemon Grove

  • Roasted cauliflower and Meyer lemon-infused Dannon Oikos® Greek nonfat yogurt cauliflower puree with sundried tomatoes and fried capers
  • Duck confit on potato smash with Meyer lemon preserves
  • Meyer lemon macaron with blueberry marmalade, Meyer lemon cream and blueberry dust
  • Cherry lemonade with cherry pearls


  • Verlasso® sustainable salmon tataki with avocado-wasabi puree and Furikake dust
  • Cage-free cream cheese deviled eggs with farm-raised smoked trout and chives
  • Passion fruit posset and coconut chia with mango compote and jelly
  • Mango agua fresca

The Onion Lair

  • French onion mac and cheese topped with parmesan crumble and chives
  • Braised Wagyu beef on creamy polenta with haricot vert and red onion salad and roasted Cipollini onion
  • Chocolate-hazelnut and raspberry Feuillete tart
  • Strawberry pineapple float with vanilla ice cream and strawberry pearls

Complete Foodie Guide to Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017

Off the Cob

  • Sweet corn nuggets with beef chili, spring onions and sour cream
  • Jackfruit carnitas banh mi nachos with cilantro crèma and “pickled” de gallo
  • Roasted sweet corn custard tart with honey tuille and smoked chili-infused chocolate sauce

Sweet & Sourdough

  • Bay shrimp Louie salad served in a mini Boudin sourdough boule
  • White cheddar lager soup topped with bacon, served in a mini Boudin sourdough boule
  • Milk chocolate sourdough bread pudding with vanilla bean sauce


  • Chicken Teriyaki slider with spicy Dole® pineapple jam
  • Korean barbecue beef short rib tacos with Kimchi slaw
  • Fresh strawberry compote, lemon verbena and vanilla bean shortcake parfait
  • Dole® Pineapple-strawberry Float with vanilla ice cream and strawberry pearls

Paradise Garden Grill Beer Garden

  • Beer-battered cod served with steak fries, sweet slaw and spiced remoulade
  • Potato and cheese pierogis with vegetarian sausage served with grilled Anaheim chilies, caramelized onions and sour cream
  • Beer-braised pork tacos served with pickled apple slaw, black beans and queso
  • Sausage platter trio served with braised red cabbage and warm potato salad
  • Large soft pretzel served with beer-mustard dipping sauce
  • Salted caramel budino with vanilla bean Chantilly cream
  • Bienenstich cake with honey-glazed almonds, filled with vanilla bean custard

The festival continues in the Hollywood Backlot area, featuring wine flights at Wineology, beer and beer floats at The Brewhouse and wine at the Festival Merchandise & Bottle Shop at Stage 17.

Are you ready to get your food and wine on?!Click To Tweet

Cars 3 In – Guardians Out

June 10th the Resort will be hosting the movie premiere for Cars 3. The plan to host the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere at DCA have fallen through because the ride won’t be ready until late May, but Cars 3 will be shown at the Anaheim Convention Center and then a big celebrity party will be held in Cars Land after the movie that evening. Cruz Ramirez will join the roving Cars characters in Cars Land this summer.

Guardians of the Galaxy Construction

This was a significant week in Guardians of the Galaxy construction. The construction scrims were removed from the back of the tower and some additional details were added to the top of the structure. We are very curious to hear what you think of the new color scheme.

Looks like a steam boat is at the top of the building with those fancy smoke stacks.
Looks like the old roofing tiles have been removed.


From the back side of the tower (off of Harbor Blvd.) you can see what the color scheme will look like.

They just painted over the old windows.

DCA Photo Update

There are a few other little things in DCA we’d like to share:

Zootopia just turned one year old.
Grizzly remains closed for refurbishment

The new recycling trash cans allow you to pour your liquids into the funnel on the right and then deposit the cup or bottle on the left.
World of Color maintenance continues.

The mural in Bugs Land continues to rot away.

Downtown Disney and Grand Californian Hotel

Before we go, let’s take a look at what’s going on outside the parks.

If you like to walk to the resort by passing through the Grand Californian Hotel from the Disneyland Drive side, please note that non hotel guests are being turned away from this entry.  It is recommended that you  enter the hotel from the the Downtown Disney side instead.

The Grand Cal pool project continues.

On a very busy Saturday night, Disneyland security was operating with only a couple metal detectors in use on the Disneyland Hotel side of Downtown Disney. This resulted in a ridiculously long line of guests waiting to get into the secured zone. This is really going to start hurting the business of Downtown Disney tenants unless something is done. While guests may be willing to wait in long lines to get into theme parks, fewer folks are likely willing to deal with this sort of security hassle just to get a sandwich, a coffee, or see a movie. At the stratospheric rents that Disney charges, we hope the tenants are screaming at the top of their lungs at Downtown Disney management.

Some colorful tables and chairs have been added to the bridge area of Downtown Disney.

We were finally able to visit Curl Surf.

Construction hasn’t gone vertical yet at the new bowling alley.

Well folks, are you willing to keep an open mind on Fantasmic changes? How confident are you in DCA being able to host the Halloween parties? Anything else in the Update catch your eye? Let’s hear from you below!!!

All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. Today’s MiceChat Disneyland Update was shot and assembled by Dusty Sage with additional photos from Brian Pinsky.

Are you a member of the MiceChat Sunday Meet-up Facebook group? If you are interested in meeting up with fellow theme park lovers in the parks, please be sure to follow this group: MiceChat Sundays in the Park.


What a great MiceChat Noon meetup today!

Posted by Dusty Sage on Sunday, March 5, 2017

And please follow the MiceChat Facebook Page for news and updates from the Disneyland Resort and beyond:

That’s it for this week’s Update. Are you a photographer? Do you love the parks? Would you like to contribute to the Disneyland Update or other MiceChat columns? Contact Dusty Sage: [email protected]