A wild, wet, whacky week at the Disneyland resort brings concerts, Christmas, and rain. Rain hit the parks Wednesday and Thursday this week putting a damper on activities at Disneyland. But the show went on as did the construction and refurbishments. As Disney legend Dick Van Dyke took to the Candlelight stage, a “Surprise” concert was held in Cars Land featuring Brad Paisley. We cover all of this plus the progress on Fantasy Faire village and a look at the New Years 2013 merchandise.
Rain breezed through the southland this week, occasionally showering Disneyland with enough precipitation to scare off the more timid park goers. It wasn’t enough, however, to flush all of the crowds from the park. Most simply soldiered through the spats of drizzle and were rewarded with the rare rainy day magic (We don’t get much real weather in SoCal, so this is special to some).
CANDLELIGHT STRESS TEST
Disneyland is 7 days away from concluding its unprecedented 20 nights of Candlelight and seems to be holding up surprisingly well. Day guests still seem to be taking the minor inconveniences in stride. Sure the trains stop running at 4pm, and Jungle Cruise is silenced about the same time, but rolling closures have become the norm when there is a special event or show.
The real test came Wednesday and Thursday night when popular Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke took to the stage for two nights. While VERY crowded at the front of the park at times, the rain helped keep crowds within acceptable levels even forcing the cancellation of the 5:30 performance on Wednesday.
What was truly surprising to us was how efficiently the exit after the performance went. While there were traffic stops at times, they were minimal. As the performers and guests exited Town Square to leave the park, things moved fast and orderly.
The only real inconvenience was that if guests were at the Main Gate and wanted to circle back into the park, they would have to exit and then reenter the front gates on the far end. This arrangement only held for the duration of the exit.
Let’s hope the final week goes just as smoothly.
STARBUCKS ON MAIN STREET
The Disney parks Blog confirmed the news that Al Lutz has been giving you for the past two years; Starbucks is coming to Main Street. The new location will be moving in to the Market house as we expected. While no word has been given on how extensively the location will be altered, we are hoping that the main features that keep the place charming will remain.
PRINCESS FANTASY FAIR
The Fantasy Faire Village is picking up steam as new details emerge. We begin to see angular awnings and stone covered chimney stacks come into view. The project will open this Spring.
The rock work and retaining wall was revealed this week (located adjacent to the exit of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). Fine work indeed.
BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN REFURBISHMENT PLANNED
Quite some time ago, Al Lutz informed us that Big Thunder had been slated for major refurbishment work including some updated effects, lighting changes, new trains and installation of wiring for Disney’s NextGen initiative. January 7th, the ride will close and is not scheduled to reopen until Fall of 2013.
Of course, we have heard some rumors that this refurb may include the removal of some of the Rainbow Ridge buildings as well. We hope that’s not the case. They are a reminder of the ride Big Thunder replaced, the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland.
There isn’t too much to report from the Fantasyland Theatre at the moment. The old Fantasy Faire archway remains behind scaffolding but the control room inside the theatre is visible and coming along quickly.
BRAD PAISLEY CONCERT IN CARSLAND
Last night, an “impromptu” concert was staged at the crossroads in Cars Land. Country Music artist Brad Paisley entertained the crowds for segments which will appear on the Disney Christmas Day Parade.
The short but sweet performance featured a live band, really performing, and of course Brad himself.
HERE COMES 2013
As Christmas and 2012 come to a close, the New Years merchandise begins to roll in. Here is a look at the new 2013 offerings. These designs are actually pretty good. But, as usual, the prices are on the high side.
NO MORE WDW MERCH FOR NOW
One great thing about new merchandise is that it pushes the shelf fillers out. The 2013 items have taken over the kiosk on Paradise pier and the Walt Disney World throws are now gone… at least for the moment.
There are also some wonderful new Roger Rabbit T-shirts that have just been released. We are happy to see them and sure do hope that all this continued interest eventually encourage a sequel. What do you say folks? Would you like to see a new Roger Rabbit film (or at the very least a new short)?
OH BY THE WAY…
Don’t forget to stop by and give Duffy a little Holiday love. He gets lonely.
That should do it for this week. Get ready for the coming tranquility of Christmas at the parks and the inevitable insanity of New Years Eve. We will see you at the parks!