Disneyland Update: Candy Canes, Classics and Cars

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in In the Parks

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Published on November 23, 2012 at 5:02 am with 42 Comments

Have you recovered from your tryptophan coma?  Because we have a lovely update from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for you today.  This week saw the return of the classic attractions Storybook Land Canal Boats and the beguiling Casey Jr. Circus Train.  We also catch up on the newly refurbished restrooms near the Fantasyland theatre and check in on the other projects around the park.  But that’s hardly all.  We also skip over to Disney California Adventure to look at some of the notable bits of Cars Land Christmas Merchandise and we take a peek at the Christmas Tree in the Grand Californian.

Christmas and the Holidays are here folks and the parks have suddenly seen a huge increase in the number of guests. Al Lutz noted that the Disneyland Resort saw 100,000 guests on Monday (nearly evenly split between the two parks). With the holidays just getting started, we can expect this to be a record setting season for the resort.

CANDY CANE DATES

As late as last night, Cast Members were handing out postcards to guests listing the dates for the famous candy cane making on Main Street.  They are listed below.

NOVEMBER 23, 26, 30

DECEMBER 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 23, 24

STORYBOOK LAND CANAL BOATS AND CASEY JR. TRAIN

The big news this week was the return of the Storybook Land Canal Boats and the Casey Jr. Circus Train.  These two attractions, at the heart of Fantasyland, share the same space and intertwine through one another.  So, usually when one is down the other benefits from a refurbishment as well.  This time the main reason for the down time dealt with more OSHA requirements for Casey Jr.. The trellices used by the charming train ride were widened and railing was installed.  While the new railings are a bit of an eyesore in our opinion, the wider bridges actually work to hide some of the lighting fixtures shining down on the canals.  It’s good and bad, but nothing terrible.

The Storybook Land Canal Boats commanded a long line upon its return.

The same with the Casey Jr. Circus Train.

The smell of freshly stained wood filled the air.

We enter the canals through the iconic mouth of Monstro the whale.

 

Everything looked great inside the canals.

Note the new railings on the bridge.

But, elsewhere, things just look just as adorable as always.

If one looked close enough one could see the Christmas decorations throughout each scene.

Meanwhile, the bridges above were widened, but not distracting.

What do you think of the new railings?

But, in the end, both attractions are just fine.

FANTASYLAND THEATRE AND RESTROOMS

Moving on to the back of Fantasyland, we see that the newly refurbished restrooms have opened.  This seems to be a bit of a head scratcher, leaving us to wonder why they bothered in the first place.  The pathway is slightly modified and wider, but they really did nothing else.

We would love to see them finally remove the glass block wall, which is a leftover from the Videopolis days, inside the men’s room.

We also noticed the progress on the control room for the new Fantasyland theatre.

FANTASY FAIRE VILLAGE

Now for even more angular and swooping rooflines.  The ornate and sorted facades for the Fantasy Faire Village are forming up nicely.

BIG THUNDER FASTPASS

Another recent development is the return of the Big Thunder Fast Pass location.  It is half the size of the original, with only 5 total machines.

FRONTIERLAND WORK

There is also a bit of work continuing on the area adjacent to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad exit.

Maintenance is a good thing folks.

Just across the way, the big thunder trail remains as green and beautiful as ever. It’s lovely right now in Southern California folks.

 

ROMNEY AT THE RESORT

The best place to go when you need to get away from the stress of the real world is the Disneyland Resort.  Here, you can forget your worries and just have a bit of fun. Apparently this sentiment rang true for former presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, as he and his entourage were spotted flitting about the resort laughing it up and having a great time on Tuesday.

Thank you to MiceChat reader, Mr. Ratigan, for sending us these cell phone photos.

BUENA VISTA STREET

Moving on to Disney California Adventure, we find that the last remaining construction walls have finally come down.  The 5 year redevelopment of Disney California Adventure is now, totally done.

All that remained to be done after the opening of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street was closing the temporary entrance and create a garden and new backstage gate. That work is now complete.

WHERE ARE WE AGAIN?

While strolling through the stores at Disney California Adventure we noticed a pretty bizarre bit of merchandise.  Is this what the “One Disney” initiative will ultimately lead to?

Need a yard Flag?

Too bad this one is from Walt Disney World.

CARS LAND

Since taking in all of the remarkable decorations around Cars Land, we decided it would be fun to look at the Cars Land Christmas Merchandise as well.  Some of this stuff is actually pretty cool, if a little too expensive.

Ornaments, 3 for $50. Ouch.

Great new design

Available on sweaters too.

Then there is the Dashing through the snow shirt.

 

Hats and scarfs

Christmas mugs for $12.95 a piece.

Care to send out Cars Land Christmas Cards? $20 for 12

These mugs are a little bit more pricey at $14.95

RAMONES

As Ramones readies for the expansion into the old Fastpass location that was never used for Radiator Springs Racers, we are seeing a lot of merchandise shuffled around.

Ramone has gotten into the art business now.

The door should be open any day now.

The have even changed the old Fastpass sign to reflect the new store.

 

Finally we take a look at the beautiful tree that was recently installed int he lobby of the Grand Cal.

 

It is always a strange thing to see Disney attempt to be hip and edgy.  Frankly, they rarely do it right.  Case in point is the ridiculous t-shirt we spotted in World of Disney this week.

So, here we have a Mickey Mouse that not only uses modern slang, but is lanky and off-model as well.  What do you think of this shirt?  Do you like it or don’t you?

And that’s all we’ve got for this week’s Disneyland Resort update. We got home from the resort late last night, where we had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We want to wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season and hope you find all those Black Friday deals you’re looking for. We’ll be back again next week to share more of Disneyland’s holiday season with you.

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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  • Disneymike

    Ugh, that “Sup Bro” Mickey shirt is absolutely ridiculous….

  • mratigan

    ^it is
    Great update thanks

  • disneyohno

    Good report like always. I like that “Sup Bro” Mickey shirt.

  • WheresMickey

    great update!

  • flayrah

    Great update. Ridiculous shirt.

    The bridge looks fine; the guardrails were well thought-out and are not as much as intrusion as they could have been. After all, something had to be done to address the multiple times someone has fallen into the canal over the years…..what’s that? No one has EVER fallen into the canal???

    • Quentin

      Just because a fall hasn’t happened does not mean one won’t. It’s like not wearing your seatbelt because you have never been in a crash.

      • danielz6

        Ehhh no…you can’t compare driving on freeways surrounded by hundreds of other drivers at 60-90mph to riding on a kiddie train going about 10 MPH in completely enclosed cars.

      • TwilitWings

        @danielz6 – the railings are for the workers who would be walking the tracks, not for the people riding the train.

  • lctom1

    Christmas is once again a great time at Disneyland!

    Comments regarding the railings on Casey Jr. … when I first saw the video taken from the train they didn’t seem too bad. They are well designed and fit in well without being too obtrusive. I liked them.
    BUT … when I saw today’s update taken from the perspective of the Storybook Canal boats I realize what the problem is: They are out of proportion with the rest of Storybook land. The bridges before were of the proper scale to fit in with all the miniature settings as seen from the water, but now the railings spoil that perspective. Oh well …..

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      That is correct. The railings by themselves do not look bad, but the are out of scale with the attraction and bridge, which makes them appear to be extra tall and out of proportion.

      • DisWedWay

        Proportion is always a problem. Further thought needed.

  • Irving

    Horrible shirt!!! (well, for me and I do respect what other people say). But worst than that it’s a real shame to see Disney World merchandise at the Disneyland Resort. I loved the days when you can only get “themed” and unique merchandise at each resort.

    • grizzlybear55

      And I treasure the things I have that simply say “Disneyland” (not Disneyland Resort).

      • danielz6

        Ya and its stupid that its officially called Disneyland Park now. Call every other copy cat Disneyland Park, or Disneyland (city name here) but this one should forever be only Disneyland!

  • Haven

    Thank you for the nice photo update of Disneyland Park over this holiday week. Imagineering has done a nice job with the railing designs for the Casey Jr. Circus Train remodel. I believe I would have selected a green paint color for the railings rather than trying to match the stone color of the bridge, as in the long shots of the bridge from the canal boat point of view, a green railing would have disappeared against the foliage beyond. Other than that, they don’t disturb very much. I do appreciate the Sup Bro artwork on the new T-shirts for the simple reason that Disney is an artistic based company and I enjoy being able to see artists branch out in new directions rather than be stifled by corporate branding policies. I also enjoyed the Princess shirts a few weeks back for this same reason. They remind me of character studies when first beginning a project, and for that, they are unique and truly artistic endeavors. Thanks again, and may everyone enjoy a safe and sunny holiday weekend.

  • indianajack

    Great update, thanks!

    The “Sup Bro” shirt is awful as Disney trying to be hip and current is almost always a failure. The person who created and/or authorized it should be fired, they just don’t get it.
    Just as jarring is seeing WDW merchandise in DLR, that’s just wrong and sad.

  • whitestrat

    That last shirt, and the yard flag from….WDW?!?! make me really sad. :(

    The parks are looking fantastic though, and I’m hoping to make it down before my pass expires in Jan.

  • Neverlandtink

    That shirt reminds me of the tacky counterfeit Mickey flipping the bird I used to see back in the ’80′s.

    Great update ~ thanks!

  • DisWedWay

    Hoping to see Disney Legend John Hench’s Big Willie the giant sleeping at the base of the castle in Casey Jr. Maybe someday they will complete the attraction. PD

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    I saw that shirt at WDW last week and just rolled my eyes. I too hate it when Disney tries to be hip and edgy. They never get it right. They need to just stop. Oh and in the past I’ve seen Disneyland merchandise at WDW so it really does go both ways, which just boggles my mind to no end. This “One Disney” thing has GOT to go.

  • CastMember 02

    Maybe the yard flag is like the resorts shopping bags and has the Disneyland Resort on the other side?

  • rstar

    I’m not sure I care much about Disney being edgy. I wouldn’t buy I, but for Disney to grow and stay relevant in an ever changing society, they need to try new things that, unfortunatly, may not appeal to the die hard fans.

    • danielz6

      Ya but you have to draw the line somewhere. Otherwise Mickey flipping the bird would be official product as well as I’m sure there’s lots of morons out there who would buy it as the previous comment said. If you appease everybody eventually you will alienate the majority. I say leave the street talk to bugs bunny, keep Mickey mouse classy.