Disneyland and Disney California Adventure both enjoyed light crowds this week during one of the resort’s last “slow” periods of the season. During this winter hibernation, there are many projects that are quietly tinkered away on throughout the resort, mainly inside the original berm. Disneyland alone is enjoying several projects, including the 10 month refurbishment of Big Thunder Mountain.  This week we caught crews removing the old track. They aren’t wasting any time.  We also have wonderful pictures of what will be headed your way during the Lunar New Year Limited Time Magic campaign.

by now, we hope you have noticed the banners, emails and multiple messages about our HUGE MiceAge 10th Anniversary Celebration at Disneyland THIS weekend.  If you haven’t, we have a full listing of the fun activities going on inside the park for all who would like to join us. This is a great opportunity for you to thank Al Lutz for bringing us so much Disney news over the years and for you to meet your fellow readers.  Just click the times guide below for a printable version of the schedule.


Enjoy an adventure that will take you into the details of DCA. We promise to have you seeing the park in a whole new way!  The Mini MiceQuest is a FREE event and open to all that care to join us.  You could win any number of prizes including tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm and a 2 night stay at the Anabella Hotel.

Another wonderful, FREE event is  GAME SHOW MAGIC.  Presented by Monorail Man at the Grand Californian’s Hearthstone Lounge Fireplace Patio. This interactive event is awash with trivia, fun, and great prizes including Free tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood and a 2 night stay at the Carousel Inn and Suites!

For our FULL SCHEDULE of meets and events on Saturday February 2nd and Sunday February 3rd, Please CLICK HERE.


Now, on to the update!

As mentioned before, this is what can be considered a slow time for Disneyland.


The new Princess meet and greet area, Fantasy Faire Village, continues to progress at a surprisingly fast pace.  Details continue to be slathered on this once maligned project and the fan community seems to be warming up to the idea of a little more fantasy closer to the hub.

The dark water system is once again circulating, removing the pungent smell that permeated the areas near the water.
Debuting this week was the marquee for the new Royal Theatre.
Granted, it isn’t done yet.
Does it look a little WDW to you?
Other parts of the Village seem much more detailed.


A very minor resurfacing project took place during the week on the left tunnel.


Big Thunder Mountain is almost one month through its 10 month refurbishment and no time is being wasted.  Demolition is complete inside the ride itself in the areas needing it (except for the rumored changes to Rainbow Ridge, and the in progress removal of track).

Out in front of the attraction, construction walls continue to be themed and decorated.

No station work is visible just yet.

Equipment and temporary workstations are all in place behind the walls.
Nothing happening at Rainbow Ridge just yet.
Old track was removed over the past week.

How long before we see commemorative pins featuring bits of the old track?



The table is cleared and there’s no tea being poured at the Mad Tea Party, which is down for refurbishment until Feb 15th.

So strange to see all the cups gone from the turntables.


it’s a small world

The classic it’s a small world attraction is still having its jingle bells removed after a long run of the holiday version of the ride. Refurbishment is also likely happening as the ride will reopen on Friday, March 1st.

No more Santa hat.

Brand new belts at the station.


The Mark Twain Riverboat is still in dry dock refurbishment through March 28th.  This is an extensive refurbishment that is covering the entire vessel from top to bottom.  Here are some pictures of the current status.



Disneyland will celebrate True Love Week, which will run from February 11 – 17.  The park will be decorated with heart shaped signs and romantic decor. At night, Sleeping Beauty Castle will swim in projections of hearts and flowers.

A giant “floral” heart will be installed in Town Square.


In addition, flowers and doves will be added to Snow White’s Wishing Well near Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Special merchandise including pins, plush, Vinylmations, special Mickey ears, and apparel will be available for purchase.

Food will also play a major part in the celebration.  Themed chocolate cupcakes with raspberry mousse and dark chocolate frosting will be available for purchase at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café and Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure, and Disneyland Hotel Coffee House. Prix fixe menus will be available at Blue Bayou and Café Orleans in Disneyland, Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure Park, Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel or Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

For the duration of True Love Week, the Princes will be joining the Princesses at the Princess Royal Walk.

Male companionship for one week only! 😉



Jumping over to Disney California Adventurem, we see that they are vastly expanding the Lunar New Year offerings in Pacific Wharf.  Some of it is already set to enjoy even though the event hasn’t officially begun. Lunar New Year officially runs from February 8 until Feb 11, 2013 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m in the Pacific Wharf area of DCA.


Rounding things out, we see whats floating about at the Grizzly River Run attraction which continues its refurbishment until March.

And there you have it.  There are many refurbishments happening throughout the resort, but, with the off season attendance, it is a great time to visit.  Remember, if you are free this weekend, join us at the resort to celebrate our spectacular 10 year milestone.  See you In the Parks!

  • indianajack

    You nailed it when you said the Royal Theater marquee looked WDW-style. I hope it looks better when it’s finished, the rest of the area looks quite good.
    Thanks for the update!

    • jcruise86

      I too saw the theater & its sign and also thought, “Hey, that looks like something in WDW’s Fantasyland!” I have feelings of positive nostalgia for that look, but it does seem like a step back from Disneyland’s more tasteful & opulent Fantasyland that reopened in 1983.

  • Trumpet

    Great Update Norman

    Great to see so much refurbishment work.

    Hopefully, the sign for the Fantsay Faire will get some tweeks before the area opens. It looks too cheap.

    Thanks Again Norman


  • Chee

    Your updates are awesome! Thanks for all your hard work.

  • Algernon

    They should give a discount for every ride that is down and every tarp that is up.

  • dgpollard

    Thank you for the updates!

    The entrance marquee for the Royal Theater looks appropriate because it’s the entrance to a tent type structure. The colors match the theater tent canopy that is behind it.

    I think that once the walls are down, you’ll see how well it goes together.

  • WheresMickey

    Great update!

  • eicarr

    It might look different in person, but its amazing how one little WDW style sign brings down the quality of an area. Right next to the castle no less.

    I wish I was there for the low crowds, however it looks like Winnie the Pooh is the only thing open !!! 🙂

  • Gregg Condon

    Great update.

    Too bad it’s not the “Mad T Party” that’s closed. We experienced it for the first time last weekend and we couldn’t stand to be there for more than 5 minutes. ElecTRONica and especially Glow Fest were better. This just seemed like a rave and that’s totally not my thing.

    Didn’t realize IASW was going to be closed that long, nice to see it getting a little work.

    The expansion of the Lunar New Year is a welcome addition, hopefully it will continue to expand in years to come with more shows, etc.

  • chesirecat

    The Fantasy Faire Village looks great! Very much in the tradition of Tony Baxter’s 1983 Fantasyland (Hmmm . . . seems to be a name that’s been in the news recently, will be interesting to hear what Al has to say about it all).

    The Fantasy Faire kinda has to look like WDW’s medieval faire because they decided to keep this part of the Carnation Plaza Gardens . . . perhaps just to please swing dance users?

    In the end the place looks a millions times better than the Carnation Plaza that was there which didn’t look it was part of Main Street or Fantasyland. Of course, parents with little kids will love this area due to the meet and greets and shows and stuff.

    Thanks for the pictures.

  • martinjbell1986

    Great Update!

  • HeeHee

    Talked to one of the cast members in Blue Sky about the swing dancing returning…she said, “Hmmm, not to sure about that”…anyone know for certain if they will return to swing dancing on Saturday nights? I have my doubts…and I will be most disappointed if it’s gone permanently. This was a place Walt really enjoyed after all. With it the park has yet one more offering-and a foot in the door of nostalgia as well (one of the main reasons for going to Disneyland versus another amusement park). Without it another corner of the park goes dark and quiet…and for me, the love of the park will diminish greatly, as it will have become so homogenized, almost folding in onto itself with same same sameness in every corner despite which land you are in. Please keep the variety of things to do in the park, without it, in my opinion, the park is losing its soul…

    Waiting to hear good news

  • SpacemanSpiff

    The same Chinese artists were at the Huntington Library last Sunday for a Chinese cultural festival. We bought sugar candy from the same artist pictured. He didn’t speak English, so he had 3 signs for $5, 10, and 20 if you wanted to request him to make a specific candy animal for you. The candy tasted like honey with sugar or thickener mixed in to keep it from melting.

  • BluSprklsMakMeHppy

    I can’t wait until next Saturday with my true love. My Prince and I will celebrate our 8th Wedding Anniversary at the Happiest Place on Earth. I will miss Mark Twain, Big Thunder and Small World but all my must rides are good to go! <3