Disneyland Photo Update: The Real Jack Sparrow

Written by Dusty Sage. Posted in Disneyland Resort, Features

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Published on May 01, 2017 at 2:12 am with No Comments

A new lounge for Tomorrowland, more of the River revealed, and the real Captain Jack Sparrow makes an appearance at Disneyland. Lots to see today . . . and don’t forget that the Gumball Rally rolls into Disneyland next weekend!

MiceChat’s Gumball Rally returns to the Disneyland Resort on May 6th this year. Compete in teams of 2 to 4 players to see who can ride the most attractions at the resort in a single day. But be warned, pirates have invaded this year’s Rally in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the beloved Pirates of the Caribbean. Don’t miss it, there’s still time for you to sign up! MORE INFORMATION HERE




WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND

It was a return to off-season reality at Disney this week. Spring break is over, passes are unblocked and Disneyland is busy again.  It’s also looking absolutely beautiful right now with spring flowers in full bloom.

TOMORROWLANDING

The more things stay the same . . . the more they change. Last week we discussed the decision to revert Space Mountain to it’s pre-overlay state. The move comes as DCA prepares to ramp up its Summer of Heroes. But there’s also a new “Lounge” on the way to Tomorrowland. Let’s take a look.

Season of the Force is about to leave us. The Classic version of the attraction will relaunch on June 1st. We expect it to be taking the Star Wars promotional signage with it.

We don’t know if Path of the Jedi is staying or going, but it plays to a nearly empty theater all day long.

Hyperspace Mountain was one of the most popular attractions in the park with very high guest satisfaction. But our poll shows that most of you prefer the classic version of Space Mountain:

The old neon Starcade sign always catches our attention. It’s got a great 80’s vibe, but sadly refers to an experience which has long since been removed.

This blue wall hides the rather large 2 story space that Starcade once occupied. We hate to see such valuable real estate wasted like this.  Sure would make a great location for a fancy futuristic sit-down restaurant.

What would you like to see Disney do with the former Starcade space at #Disneyland?Click To Tweet

Disney has announced a new “Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience” where you can “Relax as you enjoy a view of the Tomorrowland skyline – and perhaps catch a fireworks show.” The experience begins May 26th and lasts for 2 hours. The cost is $45 per person.

We had hoped that it would utilize the now defunct People Mover platform. However . . .

The “Experience” will take over the upstairs of patio of the old Innoventions building.

Guests of the experience are supposed to check in at the Tomorrowland Fruit Cart.

 

MATTERHORN RETURNS

A classic has returned and is just as painful as ever. It was another long refurbishment for Disneyland’s first roller coaster. Unfortunately, while the ride itself looks amazing, it remains a rough experience. However, it does have something new . . .  FASTPASS!

FASTPASS attractions need longer queues. Matterhorn now has a switchback line in the area between the mountain and Autopia.

Although they had months to build a new FASTPASS kiosk, they opened with temporary machines while the permanent location is just now beginning construction.

The new FASTPASS ticket area is under major construction. The concrete is ripped up, and a new design is in the works. You’ll find it just to the North of the temporary machines under the Monorail beam.

New wait time boards have been added to the queue. They have a whimsical design quality about them.

The Standby sign looks like a cuckoo clock.

FANTASYLAND

The “Happiest land of them all” needs its pathway back. The sooner they can get Big Thunder Trail reopened the better. This land gridlocks terribly at night during the Parade/Fireworks. That trail is the only relief valve once the castle has been shut down to foot traffic for the nighttime spectaculars.

We’re not sure what’s going on with Red Rose Taverne . . . While the food and decor are awesome, the crowds have died way down here – even on busy days.

Gone is the line out the door. 

Snow White’s Grotto returns! After a long refurbishment which saw the complete removal of the waterfall and statues, everything is rebuilt and looking pretty good. Though, the circling fish and water spouting frogs weren’t yet working on my trip.

And just through the Castle walkway, the Enchanted Chamber has closed. On Friday the doors were open and by Saturday they were closed.

FRONTIERLAND

One place where the queue line has returned is Big Thunder. Zocalo Park is now fully extended as standby queue line on most days. This was unheard of just a few years ago and is now common practice. My how times have changed.

But what we wanted to see is the construction along Big Thunder Trail. The rockwork looks nearly complete.

 

It was hot when we visited, so off to the Riverboat I went to cool down and listen to some Jazz.

 

The scrims have come down from around the Columbia. She looks beautiful.

A bit more of the River was revealed this week. Whether they took down the scrim on top of the dam or it blew down in the high winds this past week, we can now get a very good idea of how the view of the “Backwoods” section of the River now looks.

It’s the off-season, so in the new topsy turvy world of Disneyland, the park is packed.

Another relaxing park at Disneyland is also now used as switchback queue more often than not. It really does make me sad to see Magnolia Gardens now turned over to Haunted Mansion queue space. As Disneyland gets increasingly crowded, these spaces would be a much needed escape.

THIS AND THAT

Would you wait an hour for a Dole Whip? Apparently, many guests would.

Perhaps Disney’s market research has shown that their guests are particularly proud of being grumpy in the mornings, because there are are a lot of shirts right now for folks who don’t like the AM hours . . .

The Tour Garden has closed for refurbishment.

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT!

Johnny Depp made a surprise visit to Disneyland last week dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow. He was apparently filming something inside the attraction (either a commercial or social media). Disney expertly turned it into a viral media opportunity which caught on across the country.

Our friend Brandon Joseph from DIZFEED just happened to be in the right place at the right time when Mr. Depp, who was staying in the Dream Suite, appeared in full Jack Sparrow attire on the stairs.

When you are Johnny Depp, you get to stay in the Dream Suite. Nice!

There’s more for you tomorrow folks! Thank you for taking this little walk through the park with us. Continuing coverage tomorrow from DCA.

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THE 2017 GUMBALL RALLY

The World Famous Gumball Rally is a contest to see who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland and California Adventure in a single day. Are you the biggest Disney fan? Let’s find out. This year’s event pays tribute to the Pirates of the Caribbean, which turned 50 years old this year and remains beloved by generations of Disney fans. If you be brave enough to face a pirate’s curse, proceed!!! GUMBALL RALLY INFO AND TICKETS HERE


About Dusty Sage

Dusty is the founder and CEO of MiceChat.com. When he's not visiting theme parks and writing, editing or speaking about Disney and theme parks worldwide, Dusty stays busy as the Executive Director of both the Walt Disney Birthplace AND the Dick Van Dyke Foundation. He also runs O-Zell Soda (the company originally operated by Walt Disney's father and at which Walt once worked). If you've got news or photos to share with the MiceChat community, or would like to book Dusty for an upcoming event, please contact [email protected]

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