The new year has begun and changes are a’plenty at the Disneyland Resort. Yesterday saw the return of a beloved show to Frontierland in the form of the Salute to the Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Revue. Meanwhile Cast Members have begun taking pictures of multi-day ticket holders at the front gate in an attempt to curb misuse. That’s not all, a massive executive shakeup has George Kalogridis leaving the Disneyland nest for Disney World and the park head of Animal Kingdom moving into the Disneyland President role. Meanwhile, Disneyland Resort presses forward on refurbishments all over the place with more on the way.
A SALUTE TO THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE REVUE
Billed as part of the poorly named “Limited Time Magic” campaign, a “Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue” opened at Disneyland on Thursday of this week. The show is free to see, but you’ll need to make a reservation at the podium just outside the front door of the saloon, just like in the old days. Knowing that this would be popular, we ran from the front gate at opening to make sure we’d secure a spot. It worked, and we’ve got the glorious photos for you below.
Inside the saloon the mood was of eager anticipation and nostalgia as guests were invited indoors. Sharply dressed Cast Members invited the audience to order their food at the bar prior to showtime so that the presentation could get underway on time.
After a few minor delays, the show began. The performers gamely engaged the crowd and sang, “Hello Everybody”
If you’re looking for Pecos Bill or Slue Foot Sue, you won’t find them. Instead, we have a new, voluptuous proprietor named Miss Lilly.
Again, this isn’t the original show, but rather a salute. While not a recreation, they really try to hit all of the right notes. Yes, along with the aforementioned opener they also sing “Belly Up to the Bar.” We even get to see the Can Can!
They really seem intent on reminding guests of the nostalgia and historical nature of the performance. During one stretch of dialogue, Lilly talked to the audience about Walt Disney himself, how he hand picked each of the sets of bull horns lining the room, where he liked to sit for the show, and things like that. While it was a nice nod, it clarified that this was no attempt to recreate, but rather to remember a beloved show. The performance moves quickly at a rather short 20 minutes. But they are probably going to have to pad the short running time, especially for those paying for the special evening dinner packages available through the passholder hotline. (those folks are surely going to expect a show with more substance). Regardless, the show was polished, raucous, and a heck of a lot of fun.
View our video here and let us know what you think?
Would you like to see this show remain after its “Limited Time Magic?”
The illegal Disneyland ticket rental business has been going strong. Though one can imagine why it would be popular when a one-day parkhopper tickets now cost an absurd $125, but you can rent a parkhopper ticket for just $85 per day. Originally, Disney demanded that guests sign their tickets to prevent tickets from being rented or resold. That did little to prevent the provlem. Then they began printing names on the tickets and asking to see photo id’s.
But recently, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have been upping the defense and the park has been testing taking photos of each guest which will then show on the turnstile screen. They’ve also tried stationing an extra castmembers at the gates to check ID. However, at peak hours, the wait times have ballooned to over 45 minutes at times. Annual passes and one day park hopper tickets can glide through without a problem, since they don’t need extra screening. But watch those gates and choose your line wisely. We hope that Disney figures out a faster way of dealing with this issue quickly.
With one little handheld device, the Cast Members scan the multi-day tickets, then take a picture of the guest. Immediately, just a few feet away, their picture instantly comes up on the screen as their ticket is scanned. Then, viola! that one barcode is forever associated with that one guest. No more rental ability.
Disneyland has every right to fight these ticket brokers and their perseverance and ingenuity is to be commended. But as long as they continue to price their tickets at sky high rates, the problem will only continue. These brokers are not stupid, they’ll figure out another way around the system and the game will continue.
Our advice to anyone visiting the parks is to simply avoid the whole mess and abide by Disney park rules. If you are using a ticket broker trying to sell you a used ticket, just say NO. Buy your ticket from Disney online, at the gate, or from participating resort hotels and you will avoid the nightmare of having to ask for your money back from a ticket broker.
Last week we erroneously reported that it’s a small world would be down for conversion back to the regular attraction. As it turns out, it’s a small world Holiday will remain open until Monday, January 21st. Following the reopening of Haunted Mansion (which is down for removal of its holiday overlay) small world will go down on Tuesday, January 22nd. Keep in mind that Splash Mountain is scheduled to go down for refurbishment on the 22nd as well (until Feb 15th), along with Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island and the Explorer Canoes. The Mark Twain Steamboat is also enjoying some attention in drydock as it has its deck replaced again. No date has been posted on the Disneyland website for its return.
Haunted Mansion Holiday is closed and will return as the classic Haunted Mansion on Friday, January 18th.
Another unlisted refurbishment is the Main Street Train Station.
FANTASY FAIRE VILLAGE
The Fantasy Faire Village continues its construction with new Shingles beginning to appear on some of the roof tops and the ornate spires of the main dance floor peaking out.
The holiday season is slowly receding into history. The icy treatment on the castle is realistically fading away day by day.
Around the other parts of the park, garland and bunting are becoming a thing of the past and refurb walls are springing up.
BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN
As we stated in last weeks update, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is now down for major refurbishment which will last most of this year. In an attempt to make the refurbishment a little easier for work crews, Big Thunder Trail is scheduled to remain closed during week days.
In Fantasyland you can only get as far as the restrooms before having to make a u-turn.
HOLIDAYS BE GONE
The Chrsitmas season is slowly disappearing from Disney California Adventure as well. At the same time it is taking a queue from its older sibling across the esplanade and using this time for refurbishments after a summer of record attendance.
Muppet Vision 3D has reopened but there are still traces of the Prep and Landing elves around:
Cars Land is completely back to normal without a hint of holiday left to be seen.
GRIZZLY RIVER RAPIDS
Speaking of the refurbishments, Grizzly is down for an extended refurbishment. While we expect this refurb to finish up sometime in the late Spring, Disney has not listed a return date for this attraction on its website.
BLUE SKY CELLAR
While the bits and pieces of the old Cars Land exhibit are removed, the Blue Sky Cellar is set to reopen on Saturday, January 19th. The new exhibit will feature models and artwork of the new Fantasy Faire Village being constructed in Disneyland.
A quick note, the tire in front of Luigi’s has been moved indoors. They’ve also increased warnings about not stepping on the inflatable tire when entering and exiting the attraction. A problem since the ride first started previews. Eventually this will need to be changed as guests continue to trip when entering and exiting the tires.
NEW DISNEYLAND RESORT PRESIDENT
Please join us in welcoming Michael Colglazier as President of the Disneyland Resort. He’s slowly been working his way up the ranks of the Disney parks, with his most recent stint running the Animal Kingdom park under the leadership of Meg Crofton.
So far, we’ve only heard good things about Michael. With all of the projects already in the works for the Disneyland Resort, and with the intense scrutiny from the fan community, we don’t expect any problems. Though we’ll be the first to tell you if things start to slide.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to wish George Kalogridis good luck on his new assignment as President of the Walt Disney World Resort. He’s got his work cut out for him. The Parks, hotels and Downtown Disney all need an extreme amount of attention. He’s going to be busy! But, after all he’s been able to accomplish at Disneyland, we are more confident in WDW’s future than we’ve been since before the Paul Pressler era. We fully expect Disney World to undergo the same sort of rebirth that DCA has had under George. Farewell George, you’ll be missed.
That rounds out our big week of news for the Disneyland resort. Have you had a chance to see the Salute to The Golden Horseshoe Revue? What did you think of it? Is that something that should return on a permanent basis? Are you excited for the new Princess Meet and Greet at Disneyland or will you be avoiding the area? And if you had one thing to ask the new Resort President of the Disneyland Resort, Michael Colglazier, what would it be? We’d love to hear your comments below.