Friday brings the Disneyland Resort edition of In The Parks with the latest happenings at the happiest place on earth.  The newly opened Fantasy Faire is functioning smoothly with little to report in the way of hiccups as of yet.  But the big crowds should arrive this weekend. Hopefully the princesses are ready to meet thousands of their most loyal subjects.  We are also happy to see Main Street emerging from a few different refurbishments.  Speaking of refurbs, we also follow up with what is happening at the site of Big Thunder Mountain and the Silly Symphony Swings.

We’ve even included a few tips, hints, and tricks in our Gumball Rally Strategy guide at the bottom of this update.

MAIN STREET U.S.A.

The Main Street Station has emerged from scaffolding and screens to reveal a lovely work in progress.  This secondary icon to the park gleams with new paint and trim.

The wooden doors have yet to be installed on their hinges.

Now, your pictures in the front of the park will look glorious once more.
Let’s look at the worlds of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy just on the other side of this tunnel.
Tall scrims down, short construction walls still up. For now.
The walls were still up on this side as of Thursday.

 

Down at Coke Corner, the arch is finally returning to the patio.  By Thursday, the arch was being installed overhead.

Pic taken Wednesday, March 13
Pic taken Wednesday, March 13

FANTASY FAIRE

The lovely new Fantasy Faire addition seems to be performing exactly as Disney Imagineers designed it and were hoping for.  But then again, it has only been facing weekday crowds in March.  The real test will come this weekend.  Dateline DIsneyland will likely have more info on how the area performed this coming Monday.

That rumored stroller ban for the area might seem like a good idea after all eh?

Some princesses need a leash.

 

A new sign has been installed along the path from Fantasy Faire to the castle…

Disney ain’t stupid. There’s more to buy over there. Just follow the arrow!
While Rapunzel is acting her show out in the Royal Theatre, Belle sets up court at the Snow White wishing well on the other side of the castle.

BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD

The wildest ride in the wilderness rolls along on its 10 month refurbishment (ending around September/October). While so much of the project is rather obscured, you can spot little nuggets of interest whilst peering through the pines, pillars, and plywood.

More rainbow Ridge being framed up on the hill.

Some of the buildings are further along.

The crew was installing the trademark railroad ties around the site.

Bits of track can be spotted through the work fences.

 

The new (currently stripped) track can be seen ascending from the water pool near the dinosaur bones at the end of the ride.

SILLY SYMPHONY SWINGS

Today marks the return of the Silly Symphony Swings at Disney California Adventure.  The pics below were taken just days before it returned from a month long.  Sheesh.  Has it really been three years since the orange was pealed away?

Almost ready to go!
Yes, the tandem seats are still a part of the attraction.

PIGS and Muppets IN SPACE!!!

While strolling past the not-Muppet Vision 3D attraction we stopped by the prop shop and noticed this ingenious crossover.  Who knew we would ever see this?

Now that would be a great update to the Muppet 4D theater. Muppet Star Wars!

DUFFY LOVE

The bear that Disney wants you to love is still around.  In fact, you can pick up new St. Paddy’s day and Easter Duffy Merchandise.

HEY! You want to take a pic?

 

Discussion and sign up information, click the photo above

And now, we share a few tips for surviving the world famous Gumball Rally.  What is the Rally?  It is a race to see how many attractions you can experience at the Disneyland resort in a single day.  The event is still a month and a half away, so you still have time to grab a ticket.  The date for the Rally is May 4th.

How is it played?
Simple.  Form a team of people numbering anywhere between 2, 3, or 4 players.  Sign up HERE on the Gumball Rally info page.

It is best to come up with a really clever team name too.  This intimidates your competitors. 😉

Attendees show up early in the morning in Downtown Disney Anaheim for the kick off breakfast. They will be fed, given game books, told about the event rules and cheered on as the race begins.

How the game is played
At the breakfast, you are given a booklet that contains one question for each attraction included in the race.  This year, many of the attractions in both parks will be included in the race.  The questions are not trivia. The intention of the questions is only to verify that you rode the attraction.  The questions are simple enough to answer, but very hard to guess, unless you are riding to find the specific thing we are asking for in the question. A few of the questions really keep you on your toes (we’ve got to make it fun).  At the end of the day, you will turn your packets in at the designated finish line and then trot off to go grab dinner and head to the awards party at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Resort.

Everyone that has played in the past has come back with huge smiles on their faces.  Worn out from a wild day at the parks, but with a sense of accomplishment. This is a strenuous activity. 12 hours in the parks and 16 hours of total event time. But WOW is it worth it.

Strategies for Winning.

  1. The Don’ts:
    • Don’t split up from your team for any reason (aside from bathroom breaks and sitting out on an attraction that you cannot endure). But we even have rules for how you must do that.
    • No phone use unless supervised by a spotter or MiceChat staff. We’ll give you a guide with staff locations.
    • No breaking park rules.
    • Players are allowed to use regular Fastpass and Single Rider. No Guest assistance cards, rider switch passes, AAA super passes or any other pass may be used to board an attraction. This is an important rule. It’s wait in line or use Fastpass/Single Rider (which your whole team must hold a pass for).
  2. No crying or we will turn this car around and take you home right now!
  3. Be a good sport.  Respect other players and other park guests.  In the end, it’s not the destination but the journey that you will remember.
  4. Stay sexy. it’s all about layers. It will be cold in the morning. Even if it isn’t, it will feel cold because your body wants to still be in bed! Be comfortable. Wear shoes that you know will get you through a day that will have your longest sit down time be Pirates or It’s a Small World. If you can, bring flip flops to wear for water rides. Nothing worse than trying to keep going with soaking wet feet.
  5. Wear comfortable shoes.
  6. Pack a lunch and bring a back pack full of snacks and things to do in line.  Eat things that give you long lasting energy and less stuff that gives you a sugar crash. Pack things that can be eaten easily throughout the day and as much as possible, bite sized and quick access containers. Save super energy stuff for after 2 pm when you will be tired and start to question your sanity. Avoid carbonated beverages – they actually make you thirstier (plus opening them after they’ve bounced around in your backpack = mess!). Also remember, if it’s hotter out, you need to stay hydrated more.
  7. Bring a watch.  You wont be able to check your phone for the time, so this is a good idea.
  8. Bring a little flashlight for writing during the later hours of the day.
  9. Remember, Fastpass return times are now being enforced. Keep an eye on time, and plan accordingly to get another FastPass the second it becomes available.
  10. Keep an eye on Parade times.  You may lose track of time and suddenly find yourself delayed from getting to the other side of the parade route. or find that a certain ride is closed. Be careful with planning.
  11. Be flexible with your strategy.  Things change at the drop of a hat in the parks.  Rides go down, opening times change, weather could get ugly, you simply never know.  Be able to roll around these little problems as a team, together. That’s really the core to success in this game. How do you handle the little things you didn’t expect to happen.
  12. What’s your best strategy? Fantasyland first? Tomorrowland? Splash Mountain. Grab a Fastpass first?  One thing to remember is never ever pass a walk on for a line!! The attraction with a line may be worth more points, but do the math. In that 45 minutes you could do multiple other attractions and possibly gain more points than that single attraction.

But you can’t play if you don’t register. We are now well over three quarters sold out. The clock is ticking. Every year we end up having to turn teams away. We’d hate for you to get left out. More information and sign up link is HERE.

There you have it, a few key tips on the Rally and another big Disneyland resort update.  Now the weekend can begin. Have you played the rally before?  What are your tips for winning?  Have you visited Fantasy Faire Village yet? We look forward hearing from you below.