Welcome back to the Disneyland Resort. Today we look at changes coming soon to Downtown Disney and California Adventure. If you missed our Disneyland Update Monday you can check it out HERE.
|No More Free Parking|
Park Somewhere Else!
Disney has changed its Downtown Disney parking policy. In order to receive 2 hours of complimentary parking you now have to spend a minimum of $20 (at one location) in any Downtown Disney shop, quick service restaurant or kiosk. You can receive 4 hours of complimentary parking from AMC or one of the full-service restaurant by having them validate your parking ticket.
Fee Break Down:
- First 15 minutes- Free
- $12 Per Hour- charged in $6 increments every 30 minutes
- Lost Ticket- $48
The maximum charge is $48… if you are unsure if you’ll be buying $20 worth of merchandise, just park in Theme Park Parking. This may also affect ride sharing services such as Lyft and Uber, as they usually spend more than fifteen minutes in the parking lot waiting to pick people up. Hopefully, Disney has some sort of procedure or location for ride-share drivers to wait.
The real reason Disney is removing free parking at Downtown Disney is to eventually shut down the main Downtown Disney Parking Lot so they can build their new hotel with its Star Wars themed wing. A new parking structure will also be built where Lilo Parking lot is to also accommodate both the new hotel and Downtown Disney guests.
Maybe, Disney can update these temporary security booths with something more permanent once the new hotel and parking get built.
|Star Wars: A VR Experience|
Disney is adding a Virtual Reality experience to Downtown Disney later this year. The experience takes place in the universe Star Wars. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, based on the concept art Disney released, looks to center around Rogue One in the Universes Timeline. This is Disney’s first VR experience in both resorts (if you don’t count those early 2000’s version that used to be found in Disney Quest). If you don’t want to wait to try a VR game, Knott’s Berry Farm has already introduced a similar type experience, Showdown in Ghost Town. You can read our review of Knott’s VR experience HERE.
Disney has not yet announced the location of the new experience but it could be going into the building that Build-a-Bear currently operates. Almost everything in that building will be closing soon to make way for new dining and other experiences.
Ridemakerz, Build-A-Bear, and Chapel Hats are closing. It’s a two story building with a lot of space.
|Disney California Adventure|
Let’s take a walk around California Adventure as the pressure is on to relieve Disneyland crowds before Star Wars drowns the park.
Buena Vista Street
Smokejumpers Grill will be closing for a short refurbishment on September 11th. We rarely eat here because the lines are long and the food isn’t very good (except for the milkshakes).
Grizzly River Run’s Fastpass is experiencing terrible overcrowding at Fastpass return. I’m at the point where I’m thinking Disney should start handing out Magic Bands to alleviate the Fastpass return problem; Florida does not have this issue with their Fastpass return.
The Camp Info board at Redwood Challange Trail is not looking so hot.
Why does Stage 17 continue to sit unused, filled with the Frozen Snow Fest stuff, while Anna and Elsa meet and greet inside the Animation Building blocking huge portions of that facility for dressing rooms?
Inside the Hyperion, Disney has made some significant changes to Frozen in an attempt to help the show get under an hour run time (it’s still an hour long). Even with its three shows a day, Disney is still not pulling enough people to fill every show. My previous two trips, Disney has not filled a whole floor for each show. Let’s take a look at the changes:
Anna and Hans no longer run into each other on the steps. They now meet after “For the First Time in Forever.”
The entire ball room scene has had a full music update with what sounds like real ball room music.
Later in the show, when Anna finally gets to the ice castle, she enters the scene alone and later Christoff enters almost at the end of Anna and Elsa’s duet.
When Elsa forces the band out of the castle, new doors drop across the set. This allows for a faster removal of Elsa’s staircase and quicker setup for the troll’s scene.
The changes were necessary to help the show flow better/faster but even with the updates the show still clocks in at over an hour run time. With popularity starting to fade for this show, Disney might need to start looking for a replacement that has a short enough run time for little ones to be able to sit through.
Over outside Corn Dog Castle, Disney has moved the registers outside to help expedited the ordering/serving process.
Over at Midway Mania, the construction project has completed on the inside queue as Disney has removed all the fans and closed all the doors and replaced them with frosted windows and air conditioning.
This should help with making the sweltering summer more bearable as the wait times have shot up for this attraction since the introduction of FastPass.
Pixar Remodel Pier
If you have not read our huge Miceage Rumor Update that came out on Tuesday, please read it HERE. Let’s dissect the article:
Disney announced that Pixar Play Parade is moving over to Disneyland. With Play Parade at Disneyland, that would leave Soundsational in mothballs or prepared to have the bases stripped and rebuilt with a new theme. Paint the Night will be moving over to DCA in the evenings.
Moving down to Pier’s largest attraction, Screamin’. . . our sources say that the rollercoaster will be rethemed to the Incredibles. The Holidays will end this year with plenty of construction walls encircling almost the entire boardwalk side of the pier. Midway Mania will be the lone operating attraction at the back of the park, all spring.
Ariel’s Grotto will be ditching it’s Princess dining for a Pixar Dining experience.
Not sure what property would attract character diners quite like Ariel and the princesses, but we’ll see.
The Cove Bar will also be getting a refresh.
Moving over to unused real-estate as Disney is planning to replace the empty sand lot inside the east Screamin’ helix (near load/unload), with an Incredibles themed spinner. I’m kind-of sour over the fact that we’re getting an Omnidroid themed spinner instead of the originally proposed Ursula-themed spinner.
Moving over to the West Helix of Screamin’, this is where the Pixar part of the pier will end. The attractions on the North side of Paradise Bay will remain as they are for now.
Over the last few weeks, we have noticed a small construction project just off the walkway in this area.
Along the Boardwalk, our sources indicate that a theater which will house the relocated Turtle Talk with Crush but themed far better than where it currently resides.
We are not too sad to see the gift shops go in this area. It’s all DCA 1.0 cheesy.
Maliboomer Park, on the other hand, is not going to be getting anything quite yet as the area is being saved to for a larger E/D ticket darkride attraction.
Maybe, for the time being, they can move the Toy Story Meet-and-Greet up to the old Maliboomer pad and have full character meet and greets in that space.
As for the Fun Wheel, it will likely be rethemed as well. We are betting on the Luxo Lamp or Pixar ball (with the star on it).
King Triton’s Carousel will be closing for a full facility upgrade and re-theme… probably to a Finding Nemo theme.
At least Treasures in Paradise will be getting a re-theme…I cannot believe that this shop also made it through DCA 1.0.
Will these billboards be replaced with Pixar themed stuff? Probably.
Cars Land is getting ready for its
Christmas Halloween overlay.
Remember that Imagineering is working on a Halloween overlay to Radiator Springs Racers, but it was not ready for this season.
Grand Cal Renovations
The Grand California’s exterior continues its major refurb. At the moment the focus is over the World of Disney store.
Splitsville construction continues.
Over at the LEGO store, the Ninjago movie promotions have been rolled out. This is the only non-Disney movie I am looking forward to for the rest of the year.
Have not seen this sign before…
|Mickey and Friends Parking Structure|
Brick continues to replace all that colorfull tile at the Mickey and Friends parking structure.
Daisy Level’s area near the escalators is near complete. As for the rest of the levels, they are all over the place in the terms of progress.
|MICECHAT KNOTT’S SCARY FARM SPOOKTACULAR|
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2017 – SCARY FARM EVENT
Tickets at: http://
This is the 12th anniversary of our ultra-popular Halloween event and we are working with the great folks at Knott’s Berry Farm to make this our best haunt ever! Leave the real world behind and enter a dreamland of spooky fun with fellow Micechat readers.
This is a VIP experience. You’ll get exclusive access to the haunt designers, special tours, front of line access, and an amazing Mrs. Knott’s buffet dinner before the scares begin. This is the ultimate way to experience Knott’s Scary Farm and the best package for the event.
- Admission into Knott’s Scary Farm
- Meet and greet with maze designers
- Backstage tour of a new maze before the event
- All you can eat Private… Pre-scare Boo-fet dinner
- Early entry into Haunt
- Unlimited front of the line access to all mazes!
- Fastlane front of the line for rides!
- Priority Seating for the final performance of ELVIRA at Knott’s Scary Farm!!!
- For one simple price, you’ll get an entire night of food, entertainment, friends, frights, fun and EXCLUSIVE OPPORTUNITIES!!!
Get your tickets while they are still available, they are selling very fast this year! For questions, please contact [email protected]
Tickets at: http://
|All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. 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 additional photo contributions from Dusty Sage, Scott Attula, and Dsny Debbie.|
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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]