Quite a bit is happening at the Disneyland Resort this week.  Today marks the return of the classic version of The Haunted Mansion since Jack Skellington moved in last September.  We also get another dose of Limited Time Magic in the form of Bayou Bash along the shores of the Rivers of America.  But the big news, literally, is the large crane looming over Big Thunder Mountain as part of a 10 month refurbishment.  Rounding things out we check up on the progress at the Fantasy Faire Village and we stroll through Disney California Adventure and find Grizzly River Run under its winter refurbishment as well as a new paint job for the bridge on Buena Vista Street.

At the front gate, Cast Members continue to work to avert multi-day ticket abuse by taking a photo of each ticket holder and assigning it to their ticket.

Last week, we photographed bland green scaffolding screens shrouding the Main Street Train Station at the front of the park.  Just a day later, the more aesthetically pleasing mural wrap treatment was installed.  It’s these touches that make refurbishments easier to take. According to  Micechat member, lnsemsf, the Main Street Station will be down until March 28, 2013.

Inside the park, Spring is already beginning to bloom in Town Square.

Disneyland maps are no longer sponsored by Kodak as the long time Disney sponsor is slowly removed from the park.  However, Disneyland still uses the back of the park map to promote photos via its own PhotoPass service.  It’s an easy transition that makes a lot of sense.

 

BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD

Looming high above the skies of Frontierland, a massive crane is in place to aid in the 10 month Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment.  This is a testament to the thorough nature of the overhaul planned for this 34 year old attraction.

The crane towers above the masts of the Sailing Ship Columbia.
Rainbow Ridge still visible… for now.

Caution tape is already up on portions of the track near the station.

You can clearly see the base of the large crane parked on Big Thunder Trail.

 

On Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays Big Thunder Trail is reopened to help with crowd flow.  However, the base of the crane takes up one half of the walk way.  All of the construction is behind nicely themed walls and not easily visible.

 

MARK TWAIN

The Mark Twain Riverboat is in dry dock for a top-to-bottom refurbishment through March 28th.  Around the dock that also serves as seating for diners for Fowler’s Harbor, large walls have gone up.

Access ends just around the corner, at the front of the Mark Twain boat.

HAUNTED MANSION RETURNS TODAY

After nearly 5 months of Halloween/Christmas at the Haunted Mansion, the classic ride finally returns.  No major changes were made to the attraction during the return to the classic attraction.

The pet cemetery is back to normal.

Leotta is stationary at the moment.

BAYOU BASH

You can thank Limited Time Magic for returning Tiana to New Orleans Square.  Bayou Bash will be offered weekends through February 12th. This event offers special foods, gifts, and face painting in New Orleans Square.

The highlight of the celebrations are the two live performances.  The first featuring characters from the terribly underrated film The Princess and the Frog.

Also performing in the area is the WONDERFUL Traditional New Orleans Jazz Band

The show is pure unadulterated joy.  The music is brash, infectious and the performers really give it their all.  In particular the Grand Marshall seems to have boundless energy and was a real stand out.

The area restaurants offer special food items too. Here is the menu from Cafe Orleans.

GOLDEN HORSESHOE

During the early part of the week the Golden Horseshoe is rather quiet.  But every Thursday through Monday from now until Feb. 4, the Salute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue continues its Limited Time Magic run.  Our review and video of the Tribute to the Golden Horseshoe Review is available HERE.

FANTASMIC

The nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic, is currently down for refurbishment and is expected to return on Friday, February 15th.

Lots of equipment to be cleaned and refurbished.
Did you realize that those fountain arrays were so complicated?

FANTASY FAIRE VILLAGE

More details emerge at the Fantasy Faire village.  The future, permanent home for the wildly profitable Disney Princess. They’ll be meet-and-greeting by late Spring 2013.

Aside from the Grizzly River Run refurbishment, all is pretty much back to normal for Disney California Adventure.  In fact, even Cars Land has mellowed out recently with wait times maxing out at 60 minutes for Racers. But there was one little surprise on Buena Vista Street on Thursday.  Let’s look at what’s going on.

BUENA VISTA STREET

Buena Vista Street is starting 2013 off in a regal fashion.  The ornate beauty of this area is plainly visible again without the “clutter” of the holiday decorations.  Months after opening, this is still just as beautiful and impressive.

This week the Hyperion bridge was repainted.  Entering the park, the archways are a bright, off-white.

Shot taken Wednesday, January 16th.
The opposite side is an orange-ish color. Shot taken Wednesday, January 16th.
Photo taken Thursday, January 17th heading into the park.
Compare the above shot with this one from a day before the street opened.
A tale of two towers. It’s certainly a warmer and very different look. Taken Wednesday, January 16th.

Trees have returned to the planter in front of Elias and Company.

GRIZZLY RIVER RUN

The seasonal Grizzly refurbishment continues and will last until mid-march.  We are told this is for normal maintenance and repairs.  No major changes are expected.

The water levels near Pacific Wharf are much higher as this is the storage reservoir for water used on the attraction.
The ride may be closed, but it makes the ducks very happy.

CARS LAND

We end our Disney California Adventure tour in Cars Land where things are rolling smoothly and where lines are actually reasonable.  The big E-ticket, Radiator Springs Racers, maxed out at 60 minutes for most of the week. Luigi’s Tires hovered between 5-10 minute waits.

And finally the right hand side of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is under a large tent to facilitate refurbishment.  Thankfully the ride has two separately operating platforms and can remain open.

Here we end our Disneyland Resort update for this week.  Don’t miss your opportunity to see the Golden Horseshoe Revue while it’s here, and if that’s not your style, the Ghost Host is back at home in the Haunted Mansion.

Well, that’s what we’ve got for you today, but there’s more from Al Lutz, Dusty Sage and Doug Barnes in the iTunes chart topping MiceChat Podcast. Find out what Al has to say about the recent change in Disneyland park management, the upcoming FastPass+ system and lots more.

Listen to the latest podcast in the player below – OR – find us in iTunes or the direct link to the podcast on our Libsyn Feed.

Check back with us this afternoon as we will update this article with photos and video of the reopened Haunted Mansion as well as the Limited Time Magic show, Bayou Bash. We hope to see you again soon, In The Parks!