In The Parks: Love in the Air, Refurbs on the Ground

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disneyland Resort, Features

Tagged: , ,


Published on February 15, 2013 at 4:04 am with 27 Comments

The Disneyland Resort is filled with love and refurbishment is in the air.  Disney’s Limited Time Magic celebrations continue with two charming offerings, True Love Week and the recently ended Lunar New Year in Disney California Adventure.  Fantasmic returns today, sans the Mark Twain River Boat, and Big Thunder Mountain barrels along on its 10 month refurbishment.  That’s not to mention the rapid progress at the Fantasy Faire Village project and the dizzying return of the tea cups in Fantasyland.

True Love Week continues at the Disneyland Resort and will run until Sunday, February 17th.  The Valentine’s Day themed, Limited Time Magic event has bathed the park in hearts, pink and red tones and Disney Characters paired up with their true loves throughout the park.

  • Floral Heart: A giant floral heart is situated at the tip of Town Square facing the Castle.

  • Disneyland Sweethearts: Also near Town Square, guests will find a photo location with resident Disneyland sweethearts – Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck.

  • Blushing Castle: By day, romantic heart banners adorn the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.  As the sun sets, Red and pink hearts are projected onto the Castle as well.

  • Valentine Wishes: Flowers, garlands and decorative doves will create a second ideal location around Snow White Wishing Well near Sleeping Beauty Castle. At night, magical lighting adds a romantic touch to the wishing well and Snow White Grotto.

  • Cupcake Lovers: Chefs have prepared a specially themed Valentine’s dessert: a chocolate cupcake with raspberry mousse filling and dark chocolate mousse frosting. It is available at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café in Disneyland, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café and Pacific Wharf Café in Disney California Adventure, and Disneyland Hotel Coffee House.
  • Valentine’s-themed Takeaways: Limited-edition pins, plush, newly-designed apparel and Vinylmations are available.
  • Royal Romance:  The Princes join their loves at the Royal walk on the Small World Mall.


Lavish detail seems to be heaped on the village area of the upcoming Fantasy Faire Village.  But, the spire for the new Royal Theatre which was installed this week, doesn’t have quite the same level of detail. And is very . . . um . . . pink.

Looks a bit like a cotton candy machine.

You can see that they went with total Tournament style for the theatre area.  The problem is that, from what we can see at the moment, the design seems to have the broad strokes and color palate found in Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland, but not at Disneyland.  That design aesthetic isn’t bad per se, but it certainly doesn’t feel right with the far more detailed, intimate surroundings of Disneyland.  Also, that conflicting design scale so close to the relatively small icon of Disneyland park seems to compete for attention.    Reducing the the size of the thing by a good 50% could work to solve the issue.

Set to open on March 12th, previews could begin as early as March 6th for this princess meet and greet area.  Ignoring the “pepto-palace” on the left hand side, the rest of the village is coming along beautifully and drips with delicious detail.


Nothing much new to show you at the Big Thunder Mountain project.  But it is still fascinating to see this wonderful attraction getting the attention it deserves.


The Rivers of America have been let back in to obscure the Fantasmic fountains.  Tonight, the show makes its return.  However the finale that is usually played out on the Mark Twain will take place on the island stage since the Mark Twain is still in dry dock.


The Mark Twain continues on its refurbishment journey.  The boat will miss the return of Fantasmic, but will be back in business on March 28th.


As of today, February 15th, the Mad Tea Party (the teacups), should be reopened and spinning once again.  This past Wednesday we snapped these shots through the construction screens.  You can see the base of the teacups and the spinner wheels all waiting for the cups to be installed.



The Silly Symphony Swings has been dismantled and is down for a full refurbishment.  The ride is literally in pieces and splayed out on the platform above.  The carnival style attraction will return on March 15th.

The center base of the attraction.

The panels that decorate the canopy are leaned against the construction walls.


It’s true.  Fastpass times are now being enforced resort wide.  But the enforcement is being rolled out in phases.  Currently there are signs perched on the Fastpass machines reminding guests that their return times matter now (got that passholders?).

There is still a grace period for now of one half hour after the return window.  But, it would be best to get into the habit of punctuality.


The Limited Time Magic offering, Lunar New Year, wrapped up its “extended” run on Wednesday the 13th.  A charming little event, this special celebration was surprisingly successful and rather enjoyable.  Located in a small area near the Little Mermaid attraction, the San Francisco street was awash with crimson lanterns, character meet and greets, face painting, and crafts.

Year of the Snake bread.

Every so often a fun little processional would entertain guests.

So far, these Limited Time Magic celebrations are turning out to be a good bit of fun. Let’s hope that they stay this way.

MiceChat has some limited time magic of our own to announce. The World Famous Gumball Rally, will return for one magic day on May the 4th at the Disneyland Resort. What’s a Gumball Rally you ask? It’s a race through the Disneyland Resort to see who can ride the most attractions in a single day (with lots of surprising little twists along the way, of course). But if you’d like to participate, you’ll need to act quick. We are limited to 500 tickets and we’ve already sold one third of our spots. Find a friend or family member or two and sign up today HERE.

We’ll see ya real soon, In The Parks!

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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  • DisneyFunGuy

    I, personally, love every detail (small and big) about the new Fantasy Faire! From everything I’ve seen, so far, I don’t have one single complaint about it. I’m thrilled Disney did this and has put so much effort and detail into every aspect of this location. It’s true you can’t please everyone, but this is one person who is VERY pleased with it all. =)

  • They’d get more mileage out of the “Princess Fantasy Faire” if they’d drop the word “Princess” and use more blue. Little girls are going to show up in droves regardless, but no little boy is going to show up to anything with the word “Princess” on it. It would be great if everyone was welcome to enjoy the shows in the Royal Theatre. But if they insist on using the Princess Moniker, only moms and little girls will go.

    Plus, I don’t want to see that hot pink mess from the hub. Make it blend. Make it beautiful and I won’t complain. I promise. ;-)

    • tcsnwhite

      “…no little boy is going to show up to anything with the word “Princess” on it.?
      Perhaps most boys won’t, but a small minority might…and more power to them.
      Maybe if society got out of being so hetero-sexist and gender conforming in it’s way of seeing things…or simply stopped being so judgmental…people could like whatever they want without fear.

      I think Disney focuses on separating gender way too much in how certain characters/films/products are marketed…which is so different from what I remember as a kid.
      I grew up loving the Disney fairy tales, and back then, it seemed ok for boys and girls to enjoy such films and characters.

      Hopefully there will be some parents and kids that won’t care, and will go enjoy the princesses because they simply want to. Regardless of whether it’s supposedly “just for moms and little girls”. In fact, the previous Fantasy Faire meet and greet often had groups that were not just comprised of parents with little girls. And the shows in the Royal Theater are welcome to anyone…or I suppose anyone who isn’t afraid to be judged because they are not ‘girls with moms’. Just as I had seen a fair amount of little boys enjoying the princess storytelling previously.

      It’s funny, I see such encouragement and joy when little girls are into Star Wars and wanting to a be Jedi. Totally cool, right?
      But boys who enjoy fairy tales, or princesses and princes … rarely seen the same way.

  • JulieMouse

    Pepto Palace is the perfect description…I love the look of the rest of Fantasy Faire, but I cannot stand Pepto Palace! Maybe they are trying to make that one stage area look so bad that swing dancers won’t want to come back to it!

    I am enjoying many of the special offerings they are doing late, and hope to see Lady and the Tramp after the MiceChat meet this Sunday (2/17).

    As far as Fastpass return time enforcement, I shall not go gently into that good night…

    Great Report, as usual. Thank you!

    • wdimike55

      I agree, the rest of the area looks amazing. The rabid, uncompromising swing dancing fans and that atrocious, pink carnival tent deserve each other and should be relegated to the far corners of Downtown Disney.

  • danielz6

    I don’t think the royal theatre is that big of a deal guys. It looks fine and personally I like the Retro fantasyland look to it. Its a nice contrast to the uber detailing of the rest of fantasy faire(by the way there is no princess in the title its just Fantasy Faire).
    I like the Chinese overlay to SF street. I’ve always thought that Mulan is a very underrated film, and personally I think she deserves an attraction of some sort. And no that doesn’t mean meet n greet or storytime with Mulan…that’s not an attraction! A permanent Mulan attraction would go great in that area of the park as it currently is merely a walkway between grizzly peak and Paradise pier.
    Painful to see that giant Crane in our immaculate park! But long term planning is always best in theme Parks so it will be worth it in the end.

  • Gregg Condon

    Wonder if they’ll have year of the Rat bread … that would be kind of weird.

    Great update!!!