Welcome back to the Disneyland Resort. Today we’ll be looking at the big stories from Disneyland, where Pirates of the Caribbean just turned 50 years young. It was also the weekend that Beauty and the Beast was released in theaters and the start of Spring Break for many young folks. Of course, all of that means that Disneyland was very busy this weekend and Pirates managed lines which prove that it remains a favorite attraction to many guests. And don’t miss our coverage of California Adventure’s Food and Wine Festival, Guardians of the Galaxy Construction, exciting Fastpass news – HERE.
|Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Pirates is 50
Pass the Rum…Cake
On Thursday the beloved 50-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean returned from its Winter refurbishment. Many are wondering what new magic may have made its way into the attraction. Right off the bat, let us set your expectations correctly. This was only a refurbishment. However, many things were updated and the ride looks like brand new.
The attraction now operates with the newer boats. Previously, there was a collection of older and newer boats, with the back row often set off limits to guests. Following the refurb, all rows are now being seated and the queue line moves at a more rapid pace as a result. Lighting and sound have also been upgraded throughout the attraction, and props have been restored and replaced as necessary. Although the attraction is now open, it appears that some work is still being conducted after the park closes each night as minor fixes to lighting and effects continue to be made.
The attraction reopened on Thursday to massive demand, putting morning cast members and management through their paces. With a posted wait time of 50 minutes just an hour after park opening, lines quickly swelled to engulf a huge chunk of New Orleans Square.
Dusty live at Pirates of the Caribbean to show you the crazy lines:
Later in the day, this was the line to receive a return time for guests needing special assistance. It stretched all the across the bridge into Adventureland.
Disney has released a lot of Pirates theme merchandise and food offerings around New Orleans Square.
The Pirates Stein have sold out, but rumor has it that more will return when the new movie opens.
Over at the Mint Julep Bar there are two beverage offers and special Golden Beignets.
Over at the New Orleans Square Churro Cart, a Golden Churro has also appeared.
Over at the French Market, a delicious offering is available along with the Punch, which is also served out of the Mint Julep Window.
Early Morning Headaches
Disneyland has been offering local SoCal residents three days for $149, an amazing deal for those who love the park but cannot afford annual passes. With the Main Street Electrical parade and Remember Dreams Come True fireworks returning, the park is now packed on a nearly daily bases. The photos taken below are all from park opening on Thursday last week.
The Matterhorn continues long refurbishment and Fastpass addition. At night you can see welding throughout the mountain. Hopefully, Disney can smooth out the curves of this historic coaster and figure out the logistics of Fastpass on this coaster.
Small World Damage
After the recent set of winter storms, a tiny bit of damage can still be seen on the Small World facade. Some of the flower weather vanes are bent or just plain missing on top of the spires.
The Mug of the Wait
On a daily basis, guests are lining up at rope drop to get the coveted Rose Mug that the Red Rose Taverne offers. Unfortunately, this is a gamble as the popular mug is either out of stock or the short supply runs out just after restaurant opening. A Castmember comes out after about 30 minutes to tell guests if they do or don’t have mugs that day.
Snow White Grotto Reconstruction
Work continues on the Snow White fountain as the rock work is completely replaced.
Star Wars Land Construction progress
Work continues on the most highly anticipated of all the Disney projects, Star Wars Land. If you haven’t taken a look through last week’s Star Wars Land News, please do. Darth Daver works extremely hard to get you those amazing shots.
Let’s head outside the park for a site overview.
Things are really reaching for the sky now.
But what’s that in the Battle Escape attraction show building?
After Darth Daver’s reports that the AT-AT were being added, Disney immediately released a video confirming their installation.
The new Tree Berm is being installed now to allow Spring to work her magic on growth.
Along the Tram Route, the new Cast Entry Gate is being added for staff who work on West Side Attractions.
Fantasmic/Tom Sawyer’s Island Construction
Along the front of the River’s of America a few new props have been added to hide new equipment for the new Fantasmic.
The Mark Twain and Columbia River Boats are being repainted and the Columbia is having new rigging installed on the masts.
Four barges can now be seen along the Big Thunder bank of the Rivers of America.
Where’s Haunted Mansion Fastpass?
Last week we updated you that Haunted Mansion finally added its MaxPass touch-points. But because of the long lines which this attraction has been getting lately, the Fastpass Distribution kiosks are often blocked and can be difficult to find. As a result, new Fastpass directional signs point guests to go around the fountain in Magnolia Park to get to the distribution kiosks.
This week the E.P. Ripply was switched out of the trains exhibit at the New Orleans Square Station for the Ernest S Marsh.
Star Tours: Fastpass Portal
On Friday the new Fastpass portal finally opened for Star Tours.
On the Standby Entrance side, the former Fastpass time clock has been removed and replaced with a decorative sign.
It appears that there is currently no door on the new Fastpass entry. The following pictures were taken just after park close and shows the Fastpass entry left open.
The stand-by side uses locking glass doors. Perhaps something similar is in the works for the Fastpass side as well.
Other Tomorrowland Tidbits
First off, Buzz’s sign appears to be rusting and could use a good paint job or replacement.
Tomorrowland is enforcing a one-way walkway on either side of Astro Orbiter almost all day now. With Fastpass on one side of the walkway and the new Fastpass entrance for Star Tours on the other, guests can no longer simply walk across the way, but are routed around the Astro Orbiter to get back to Star Tours. It’s inconvenient but not too confusing. . . until evening when the parades and fireworks turn this area into a nightmare.
At night, the side headed out of Tomorrowland backs up as the mass of people hoping to leave Tomorrowland hit the crowds packed in to see the nighttime spectaculars. For long stretches of time, Tomorrowland becomes a holding pen of guests who become trapped here. Meanwhile, cast members allow the other side of the land to remain uncrowded, but won’t let you cross over to get out. It’s incredibly frustrating. Disney really needs to address crowd control issues in Tomorrowland and Adventureland ASAP. Things are rapidly deteriorating and new crowd control procedures are only making it worse.
We have a suggestion for Operations Managers to figure this out. Take off your name tag. Go ride Space Mountain after dark. Then try to get to Town Square on Main Street without using your cast member super powers (no cutting through backstage). Follow the instructions of your own employees. When you are done feeling like you’ve been abused, come up with a plan which keeps guests moving (like perhaps reversing the crowd flow direction so folks exit the land closest to Star Tours and can then get to Main Street in order to exit the park.
Also, to avoid the impossibility of crossing Main Street during the parades, consider making the overflow corridors behind Main Street two way traffic instead of one way. Having the outbound overflow on the Adventureland side of the park may make sense for exiting Fantasmic traffic, but it makes it impossible for folks on the Tomorrowland side of the park to escape!
Monorail down to Uno Rail.
Disneyland is currently down to only one operating monorail due to maintenance problems.This is causing lines to back up (especially in the Downtown Disney station). Guests are warned that they may wait 30 to 45 minutes to catch the train.
Adventureland Restroom Wrap Up
This week the female half of the restroom complex at the entrance of Adventureland has reopened. The neighboring Pioneer Merchantile has also reopened with the shared wall and cash registers moved.
Disney released a lot of new merchandise throughout the resort in the last couple of weeks. I’d like to feature some of them for you.
The plethora of shirts now available along the shops of Main Street, Buena Vista Street, and World of Disney may have some of you reaching for your wallets. (some of this may not be new, but it’s new to me).
And for the Youngins…
Over at Atwater in California Adventure new merchandise has popped up.
Some California Adventure Theme Merch but…
Just across the shelf some Disney World merchandise just sitting there.
At the Adventureland Bazaar, these little VHS tape looking notebooks seem popular.
Over at Port Royal Curios and Curiosities this Haunted Mansion shirt with Master Gracey linticular on it.
Our coverage continues with Disney California Adventure Tower construction, Food and Wine Festival, Security issues and more HERE
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|All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. Return tomorrow as we continue to coverage from California Adventure and the rest of the Resort. Each week we’ll feature different photographers and commentators (often more than one). Today’s MiceChat Disneyland Update was shot and assembled by Brian Pinsky with help from Dusty Sage, additional photo contributions from Darth Daver. Thanks Dave!
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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]