Uh-oh! Disneyland and Disney California Adventure both suffered ride closures this week, with more occurring yesterday, as the government safety agency, Cal/OSHA, descended upon the parks and forced action. Meanwhile the shuffle of collectables and coffee has begun on Main Street as Market House and Disneyana bid farewell to become a Starbucks location. But all is not lost. Limited Time Magic’s Fairies Week promises to bring some familiar characters to the park, but with 50% more magic. All this plus more spring time pictures, a run down of refurbishments in Fantasyland, and a peek at the track and Rainbow Ridge construction at Big Thunder Mountain.
The big news coming out of both parks this week was the sudden closure of several major attractions. As we broke the news this past Saturday via Twitter & Facebook the park faced several Cal/OSHA enforced closures due to citations, mostly for lack of fall protection for maintenance workers. Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Soarin’ Over California were all subject to what Disney is claiming were voluntary closures.
While none of the citations were directly involved with guest safety or guest experience, they did force the complete closure of 3 attractions on Saturday. Space Mountain, Sorin’ Over California, and Matterhorn remained closed for the day. On Sunday, the Matterhorn was open again, but only running the Fantasyland side of the track.
Cast members at Soarin’ gamely engaged the crowds by getting them involved in paper airplane making competitions.
The park merely listed Soarin’ as…
Yesterday, after giving the go-ahead for temporary fixes to Soarin’s citations, inspectors stopped by Screamin’ and shut that ride down for fall protection along rider evacuation routes. The good news is that Screamin’ with any luck, could be reopening today.
Meanwhile, over at Space the ride ops CMs had a little less fun.
Lines at the Matterhorn were, naturally, twice as long since only one track was in operation.
PIXIE HOLLOW LIMITED TIME MAGIC
In the perfect example of what is wrong with the One Disney Initiative, this week’s limited time magic is Fairies Week. Yes, now through Sunday, April 21st, guests can meet a rotating cast of their favorite Fairy characters. The bummer is that while this may be a novelty for the guests out in Walt Disney World, on the west coast, we have had this magic ever since PIxie Hollow was opened in October of 2008.
Once inside the meet and greet area we crossed paths with Silvermist. She was particularly fun and engaging.
Not exactly limited, but certainly magic. If you plan on visiting the fairies be prepared for a long slow moving line. You might want to bring an umbrella for shade, games for the kids, and a back-up charger for your phone.
We assume that Limited Time Magic will bring back some of the fairies who haven’t been seen here for a while. At one time or another over the years, we’ve seen Tinkerbell, Iridessa, Silvermist, Terence, Rosetta, Fawn, Vidia, and Periwinkle (are we missing any?)
DISNEYANA AND MARKET HOUSE
Disney finally closed the Market House and Disneyana stores on Main Street in order to create a Starbucks location in the park. While many have been saddened by this departure, we have been advised that great care is being taken to preserve the turn of the century look and feel and that many details of the Market House will be retained. Though, many passholders bemoan the loss of free refills (of the terrible coffee which was served here).
Next door, Disneyana is all closed up and awaiting merger with the Market house. But where will all of those collectables go?
The logical spot, of course was the Disney Gallery and Opera House lobby. The very next day, the artists table and supplies had already found a home in the front room of the Disney Gallery.
The lobby of the opera house and the attraction itself are enjoying refurbishment and will return on Friday, May 3rd.
Here is another round of spectacular foliage from Disneyland Park. Truly one of the highlights of the entire year, springtime turns the park into a fecund garden overflowing with life.
And, of course, it was plenty busy in the parks this week.
IRON MAN AND THE CROWDS
The great experiment continues as Disney carefully watches the guest reaction to Iron Man’s presence in the park. As you can see, nearly a week after the exhibit opened, the new installation is still commanding posted wait times of a half hour during peak times. And that’s just to get into the building. You still have to wait for the exhibit once you get inside.
However, we are a bit concerned that Disney might have oversold this experience. It’s just a little exhibit, not a show or attraction. There are a lot of grumbling guests coming out of the building. Not because what’s been assembled isn’t interesting, but rather that they had to wait an hour or more for what little was there.
A few notes from around Disneyland’s Fantasyland show that upkeep is continual here.
It looks like the Figaro animatronic is already in need of maintenance. Not two months of daily operation and Figaro has been put to sleep on account of a wonky eyelid. If you look closely, you can see the scrape marks on the outer lid of poor Figaro’s eye.
Thankfully, the royal cleaners have returned the canopy for the King Arthur Carousel. It looks bright and cheery.
But you’ll see that the pitched tent above the carousel is still dented and rusty looking. It looks even worse than it really is because the colors look so faded compared to the vibrant purple awning.
Here we are at the Big Thunder Mountain refurbishment project. While visuals are scarce as so much of the area is obscured. However, we were still able to spot a few interesting tidbits for you.
During our visit the crane was moving around equipment and such from inside the attraction near the helix.
That should wrap things up for the Disneyland resort this week. Let’s all send good vibes their way so that both Soarin’ and Space can open again soon!