Disneyland explores the Realms of Fantasy and gets ready for 2013

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on December 17, 2012 at 5:05 am with 31 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Andy

    I have to say that It would be sad if the old Railbow Ridge was removed. I guess we will have to wait and see. Personally, I think if it is replaced, then it should be rebuilt, as the scene at the end is always interesting when you are waiting in the queue and you return to the
    station after the ride.
    It is nice that they are updating the Disney gallery regulary.
    The decorations in Downtown Disney ar tacky, but hy look alot better than what was there before.

    Thanks Again Andy


  • Carnation Dave

    Nice update. I’m excited for the BTM refurb. It’s a family favorite. I sure hope that rainbow Ridge stays. I remember the mine train ride and miss it. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good week.

  • eicarr

    Everything looks great at DL!!!

    The labyrinth at the exhibit is the one thing I wish they put where the old motorboat was. What a nice change of pace it is in France. It would be perfect in the shadow of the Matterhorn and complete the Alice themed section at the edge of fantasyland. Seems somewhat inexpensive too. I hope they keep all of the new WDW fantasyland stuff unique to there.

    I imagine “imagine that” being something dorky/intrusive I avoid like Medevil Times. might work if they’re testing it for WDW though. It would be a nice complement to their new Pirates walk-through. Both would quickly become ghost towns at DCA.

  • eicarr

    While letting go of Rainbow Ridge might be hard… Look at WDW where they got rid of Snow White and Mr Toad for some mediocre fluff. After Carsland I trust DL to do something good at Big Thunder.

  • mickeyandme

    Great info as always. Dateline Disneyland rules!

  • indianajack

    I hope the Rainbow Ridge stays, it’s a wonderful vignette to the Old West. Why does Disney want to mess with an element that works well? They drive me crazy when they do that. Hey, Disney, please fix the things that need attention like most of Tomorrowland.

    The Downtown Disney Christmas Village is pathetic. Disney should be embarrassed of it. Knott’s Village is so much better and charming.

    Thanks for the update as always!

  • SoCalFan

    Form what I’ve heard, Rainbow Ridge is going to be demolished and rebuilt almost exactly as is. Take it worth a grain a salt but that’s what the murmurs have been saying.

    The Realms of Fantasy exhibit looks great and it’s surprising that Disney did not mention this change, even on their parks blog. They post the smallest, most insignificant things sometimes on that blog, you would think a new exhibit would get a mention haha. Interesting they mentioned how the New Fantasyland in WDW was at one time to include a mini Alice area…I almost wished it had in addition to what’s there. That story and that movie will always have life and relevance to them. A quintessential piece of Children’s Literature that has always captivated the reader in it’s world of the wonderment and bizarre and is truly one that has stood the test of time.

    Thanks as always for putting together these beautiful updates.

  • gauchogirl

    Another great update! I’ll definitely have to check out the new Gallery exhibit next time I’m there!

  • WheresMickey

    great update!

  • heysi

    Does anyone know when the “Class of 2013” merchandise will hit the resort? My daughter has been waiting since she was 6 to be able to buy her picture frame, hat and shirt for her high school graduation……and now that its only a few short months away she doesn’t want to miss it.

    Also, as one of the people that was able to win an ebook during the 5th anniversary contest, let me say THANKS!!!! I feel so lucky to have been one of the few.

  • Algernon

    I’m sure Big Thunder will reopen with Coney Island style carnival safety railings all over the place.


    Great update as always. I’m especially eager to see the updates as my pass recently expired and I didn’t renew. Amazing how just a few years ago it was half the cost…. but that’s another thread…..

    I’m happy to see the new merchandise showing up for the 2013 New Year, but a bit disappointed to not see any merchandise playing along the Haunted Mansion theme of ’13’. You’d think that there would be a huge number of superstitious people that wouldn’t buy any of it, but there are also a large number of who would love the darker merchandise playing off of the number ’13’. Maybe, in the next few months, time will tell…..

    • Timekeeper

      I would wait till either it’s Bats Day in May or in October, or when any month in 2013 may have a 13th on a Friday.


  • mulva5

    Thanks for another great update, it’s the only thing i look forward to on a Monday.
    Hope there’s a way that they can preserve Rainbow Ridge.

  • Disney Analyst

    Saddened by your comments on this new show in testing. Improv is such a fun experience, and I always try to go to our local improv club to catch some fun improv battles. As someone in acting I can tell you improv is NOT easy, and when it works it is HIGHLY entertaining. I don’t know why you would be upset at Disney for creating a unique entertainment offering. Isn’t that the point, building diversity in the entertainment offerings? This is something never done at the parks, and I could see it working quite well if done right. I just find the comment in the article highly negative for no reason other then to pick another reason that Disney is “Failing” I do not see this as a failure, I see this as diverse art.

    • themur

      Good improv is highly entertaining and what is nice is that if the performers are good, the show is repeatable.

      Sometimes improv shows are inexpensive but sometimes not. If you see main stage performers at Groundlings or UCB or IO West you will drop more than a few bucks for tickets. Definitely not do it yourself/stay at home entertainment.

  • Disney Analyst

    Not to mention it was NOT a movie tie-in AT ALL. A completely unique and creative offering. I don’t get your comments at all.

  • Klutch

    I think the point is that an improv show is fine at a home party or at a small club with little or no cover charge. But for people dropping almost $100 to get through the gate, and with the soaring cost of Annual Passes, an Improv show really isn’t appropriate. But hey, if people like it, they like it.

    I am reminded of the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” show that was quickly shuttered when a bit of research revealed the audiences were the same Annual Passholders day after day just trying to win the prizes.

    • Disney Analyst

      But my question is, you are paying $100 dollars for VARIETY. For a Variety of entertainment offerings. so I guess I wonder how you can justify this “100 dollar” argument. I would understand if all you got for that $100 dollars was an improv show, but you get an ENTIRE PARK, filled with different offerings for everyone. How can an improv show, a surely unique, repeatable offering, be a bad thing? It may not be for everyone, but there is DEFINITELY a market for it. How well did “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” air for! I mean, come on.

      • My point, which I should have perhaps articulated better, is that an attraction like “Imagine That!” could set a precedence for what future theme park attractions are/should be. Newer attractions are already moving this direction and the trend is far more pronounced at Walt Disney World. More and more Disney is moving away from animatronic-centric and sepcial effect-heavy rides/experiences for attractions that they can tout as cutting-edge for their level of interactivity, but in reality cost much less to develop, maintain and operate. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor and the new Enchanted Tales with Belle are good examples of this. While the Belle meet-and-greet features animatronics, the overall facility has very low capacity and is a lot cheaper to run than a very intricate ride-through experience like Indiana Jones Adventure or Pirates of the Caribbean.

      • Klutch

        I’m all for variety. But I don’t like a variety of low-end offerings.

        Sure, “Who’s Line is it Anyway” was a good show. But it had some amazing talent. I doubt Disney would be willing to pay for anything more than a few Theater majors from the local Community Colleges.

  • indyjones

    I guess I’m in the minority here when I say I’m looking forward to seeing the “Imagine That” show. If you have good improv actors(which is the key and is NOT easy), this type of show can be the most consistently surprising and funny, and it’s different every time so you can go again and again without it getting monotonous. The addition of the live artists helping create the scenes is also a very difficult thing to do.

    As for Thunder Mountain, I was terribly disappointed with the Matterhorn refurb. With little exception it seems things were actually worse inside the mountain than when they started. While the outside looks good, there were so many missed opportunities to plus the ride.
    While I doubt we will see any plussing on Thunder Mountain, we can always hope so I will hold judgement until it’s complete.

  • SuburbanGiant

    I noticed that the hat guy in Pirates now has hats again! I don’t know if it had already been posted, but I know that they’ve been missing for a few weeks…

  • scarymouse

    Nice update, I am interested what will the NEW THUNDERMOUNTAIN will be like, I hope there are more splash mountain type of interactions thru out.The game show half hour show sounds interesting, but I don’t think I would shell out 100 bucks to participate.

  • disneylandfan8

    So glad to see all the photos of Rainbow Ridge, especially if the rumors are true.

    Have all the names of the 5th anniversary winners been published here?

    Thank you again for a great update!

  • AB Born

    Taking out Rainbow Ridge would be like taking out the lurching snake on Indy. It’s part of the ride and part of the show.

  • Spongeocto4

    Thanks for the update

  • LittleSquirt

    I actually wish they kept Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland. I would much rather ride that then BTMR. Why would they tear down such a classic?

    • danielz6

      They tore down such a classic because during the 70’s there was a big push to introduce thrill rides into the park as competition was increasing from places like Magic Mountain down the road. This is why space mountain was added this time as well.

      Don’t worry folks, disneyandmore reports that rainbow ridge will stay, so most likely it will. It doesn’t make any sense for disneyland to remove it any ways.

  • SpectroMan

    No surprise on the test for yet another audience participation show. I, for one pay for a ticket to BE entertained, not to entertain myself. I don’t know where along the path of Disney execs was it determined that guests want to be a part of making their own magic during the day instead of coming to see Disney’s.

  • darkamor

    Although its been speculated that we could lose the repurposed buildings from the Rainbow Ridge era (I shoulder at the thought), I can only imagine these structures need a lot of tlc (something Fort Wilderness on Tom Sawyer Island deserved, but never received no thanks to Eisner) in order to remain at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad …

    I also shudder at the thought of new ride carts on par with the Matterhorn (& so will my chiropractor, as the Matterhorn sleds are very uncomfortable!), but would welcome a better queue area (one that increases rider capacity without having to struggle to get through a narrow opening up a set of stairs) – especially with regards for handicapped access ….

    I love Big Thunder Mountain, but the Audio Animatronic Animals need lots of tlc (note to Team Disney Anaheim, these types of engineering feats need constant maintenance vs. neglect!) ….

    Everything else about this post (well done, Andy) left a smile on me face (yeah even I wasn’t frowning about Downtown Disney – I got my Starbucks Latte & it was mmm mmm good) .and I wish everyone a Happy Holidays …

    C J