In The Parks: Disneyland Resort Goes to the Monsters

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disney, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, In the Parks

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Published on April 26, 2013 at 3:00 am with 26 Comments

Disneyland resort is going to the Monsters as new merchandise for the upcoming Pixar film is added to stores. But that’s just the start. As we told you in our last MiceAge Update, Disney plans to host a 24 hour party in the parks May 24th through 25th loosely themed to the upcoming Pixar sequel to the Monsters Inc. film. We’ll also show you the healthier new menu at the Blue Bayou, and we rode the Mark Twain river boat after its major, multi-month, refurbishment and bring you lots of photos of this beautiful Disney ship.

MONSTROUS PARTY IN THE PARKS

Readers of MiceAge won’t be surprised to learn that Disney is planning another all night event in the parks this coming Memorial Day Weekend. The event has finally been announced by Disney:

Our first-ever, three-park all-night party is happening at the Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in California. The parks will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, local time.

  • In Florida, Magic Kingdom Park will feature a “Monsters University” theme where Mike and Sulley will be the Grand Marshals of the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” day parade and make appearances in Tomorrowland. There will be extra entertainment throughout the day and night, including characters in their pajamas in Town Square during the late night and early morning, and late-night dance parties in and around the courtyard of Cinderella Castle.
  • In California, you’ll be able to party the night away at both parks with special entertainment including: a “Monsters University” “TLT Monstrous” Dance Club and Star Wars characters in Tomorrowland and late-night Character Pajama Party in Mickey’s ToonTown at Disneyland park. The new Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre at Disneyland park will become a Royal Dance Hall late at night with a live band and dancing; and guests of Disney California Adventure park will find Monstrous photo opportunities with new “Monsters University” “Dorms” in Hollywood Land and a new “Monsters University” float leading the Pixar Play Parade.

The question is, after the disastrous overcrowding, rowdy overnight crowds and inadequate staffing of the similar event on Leap Day, would you subject yourself to this sort of event again? Our guess is . . . you will. You’re Disney nerds and that’s what you do. Are we right? All joking aside, we do hope that Disney has learned some valuable lessons. After all, this event takes place over a holiday weekend which is already an extremely busy time to visit the resort. It’s going to take a much more coordinated effort to pull an event like this off. Let us know in the comments below if you’ll be packing yourself into the parks for this Monstrous event.

SECURITY

As Andy Castro shared last week, security has been heightened since the Boston Marathon bombings.  Approaching the security gates from Harbor we see the portable security towers installed.

But, inside the parks, security is everywhere but nearly invisible. The magic takes over and you’d never know that security is tight.

Minnie greets visitors in front of the Opera House.

CLOSURES AND OPENINGS

As Al and Crew wrote in this past Tuesday’s MiceAge Update, Disneyland’s closures, while voluntary, seem to be creating a sense of uncertainty among visitors looking to ride their favorite attractions.  The closures were voluntary as Disney attempts to meet DOSH standards (a California regulatory agency). We commend Disneyland management for their proactive safety concerns, even if it does cause a bit of a headache for guests. Safety first, isn’t that right?

As of today, Space Mountain is still down for a protracted bit of retooling of safety procedures.  Every day, Cast Members must walk the track to do a visual check of things before cycling the trains for opening.  But, some of these platforms are a little too narrow according to DOSH rules.  Visual checks from key vantage points along the track are being considered and the ride will hopefully open sooner rather than later.  It all boils down to what Disney feels is safe enough for their CMs to do every day before operating the ride that will also be acceptable for DOSH.

Meanwhile, both the A and B tracks of the Matterhorn are now operating again and things are mostly back to normal. Disney simply needed to change the cast member procedures for the attraction to get it up to code. No reconstruction to the attraction was necessary.

The Tomorrowland side was operating on Tuesday morning, with one strange addition.

A collection of sunglasses were placed on the tree near the splash pool. Odd. Did DOSH mandate eye protection for this tree? Someone obviously has a fun sense of humor.  ;-)

The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage was down, while a full operations cast was on standby, this past Tuesday as the subs were inspected.  This might have something to do with a very minor fire which occurred on one of the subs on 4/13. But the attraction did reopen to guests. (How would you like to be trapped in the middle of the lagoon while the sub you were on had a fire? Yikes)

Meanwhile, DOSH was over at Screamin’ on Tuesday morning, interviewing maintenance workers.  The ride opened a few hours after the park on Tuesday.

Now, where did the coaster touch you?

After a few minor railing modifications for overnight maintenance workers, Soarin’ was also reopened.

NEW BLUE BAYOU MENU

Here’s something that doesn’t happen very often, the Blue Bayou has updated its menu. While there are some healthier options now available, the artery clogging Monte Cristo sandwich is still on the menu. We just thought we’d reassure you right off the bat. Here’s what the Disney Parks Blog has to say about the new offerings:

Blue Bayou fans have some new dishes to try and can revisit classics that have been lovingly tweaked. No worries, the favorites are there, but some delicious creations have been added – new sweet potato biscuits that come to the table along with the popular sourdough rolls, perfect with the new herb-crusted rack of lamb.
Every meal at Blue Bayou starts with an appetizer – gumbo or salad. But now you can opt for a shrimp cocktail (for an additional $5.99). “We’re adding lighter dishes with the menu makeover,” says Christine Weissman, executive chef at Disneyland park. And even classics like the jambalaya get a flourish of healthful micro-greens. No worries, the Monte Cristo sandwich is still there, served with fresh fruit, a perfect complement to the rich sandwich. Also back is the braised short rib and Tesoro Island chicken breast, both tweaked just enough to keep the original flavors but bring a freshness to each dish.

Pan-seared salmon is no longer stuffed with cheese, but instead served with rich sweet corn risotto, tangy citrus mousseline and a dollop of salsa verde. The favorite of vegetarians, the portobello mushroom and couscous macque choux, is another keeper.

And if you’d like to make one of those delicious fried sandwiches for yourself, we dug up the recipe for you:

Disneyland Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich Recipe

Ingredients:

1 egg
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 slices egg bread (challah works well), sliced 1/2-inch thick
8 thin slices ham
8 thin slices turkey
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
3 cups canola oil
Confectioners sugar
Blackberry preserves

Directions:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels; set aside.
  2. Whisk the egg and water together in a mixing bowl. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk thoroughly for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth, scraping sides of bowl.
  3. On one slice of bread, arrange 2 slices of ham, turkey, and cheese, covering the bread evenly. Place another slice of bread on top and slice each sandwich in half diagonally.
  4. Heat oil to between 365 degrees F and 375 degrees F in a 10-inch pan. Do not let the oil reach a higher temperature than this; if the oil starts to smoke, turn the heat down. Dip half of the sandwich into the batter, allowing excess to drain, and very carefully place into the oil.
  5. Repeat with the other sandwich half. Cook 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Place the cooked sandwich on the prepared cookie sheet in a warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat with the other three sandwiches.
  6. Cook one at a time, and allow the oil to reach the desired temperature between each.
  7. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve with blackberry preserves on the side.

Then all you need to do is build a bayou in your living room and you’ll have delicious water-side Monte Cristos at home!

BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD

Over in Frontierland, work continues on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Track is fully visible and scenery continues to be installed.

Around the back of the ride, along big thunder trail.

Just after the second left hill, new track has been placed.

Big Thunder Trail is cut off between the Ranch and the exit of the attraction during the week. But reopens most weekends.

Around the front, we can see more track around the helix and progress in the station.

 

Workers were walking the track on Tuesday.

Along the queue we can see Rainbow Ridge and the new little buildings which replace the originals.

 

MARK TWAIN RIVERBOAT

The Mark Twain Riverboat returned this week after a long refurbishment.  The stately attraction is shiny, and beautiful once again.  It is so nice to see Disneyland taking care of this iconic piece of its history.

The ship honestly looks like new. A thing of beauty.

MARKET HOUSE

Stopping by the Market house, no progress can be seen as they have covered all of the windows. But we assure you that Starbucks is rapidly on its way.

A new kiosk featuring Monsters University Merchandise appeared in Hollywoodland.  Some of it is actually pretty cute!

Here’s what all the excitement is about:

D23 Celebrates Imagineering’s 60th Anniversary

Dusty bring us a scoop on the upcoming issue of Disney Twenty-Three Magazine. We liked the artwork so much we thought that we’d share with you here. There’s a discussion about the issue on the MiceChat D23 Forums. To mark the occasion of Imagineering’s 60th anniversary, Disney Twenty-Three magazine has created a special back-cover for the issue which salutes the Imagineers. The design is a detailed layered paper cut style. Take a closer look and you’ll see lots of the more famous Imagineering creations.

We understand that the summer 2013 issue of Disney twenty-three will have several in-depth articles to honor the 60th anniversary. Imagineer Tony Baxter discusses his work on some of the world’s most iconic attractions, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain,and Star Tours. “You Do What?” profiles some of the most unusual jobs Imagineers have had over the years, from rock designer to castle architect. “Imagineering Fact? Or Fiction!” debunks some of the long-time myths and legends of the Disney Parks. And there’s much more, including “23 Imagineering Game Changers” and a salute from Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Tom Staggs to the thousands of creative individuals whose contributions have changed the way guests experience Disney around the world.

That should just about do it today folks. If you’ve got a minute, explore the rest of our great articles today from Disney World and Yesterland on the MiceChat front page.

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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26 Comments

Comments for In The Parks: Disneyland Resort Goes to the Monsters are now closed.

  1. Great Update! Cant wait til the 24 hohr event

  2. Great Update! Cant wait til the 24 hour event

  3. Thanks, Norm!

    It’s always great when Disney restaurants become healthier. I just cut my triglycerides by more than half without medication and dramatically lowered my cholesterol sans meds just by changing my diet. Maybe I’ll be around for Disneyland’s 100th Anniversary.

  4. Isn’t the security tower at the Harbor Blvd drop-off always there? It has been there every time I’ve been in that area since at least 2005

    • Agreed. I don’t see why this is news. It’s been there for ages.

    • It is NOT always there. Though, this is a frequently used security location. But usually the pop up security box is either not there or not extended. We thought you’d like to know that Disney is taking your security seriously.

      • Due respect, but I think Disney is more concerned with covering its own butt and good PR than our actual “security.” The tents cutting off the central plaza? Is that any form of security at all? There’s no point. A perpetrator could sneak anything past those people.

      • I’ve gone through that area more times I can count over the last decade and I never seen or heard of it until this update. Yeah its definitely not always there thats for sure.

  5. They need to have merchandise form their big budget films like OZ and Ironman offered as prominently as Monsters Inc 2. I’ll stock up big time on Stark Industries merchandise. People would even be stocking up now on Lone Ranger gear in Frontierland if they had a great display replacing the dated Pocahantus stuff.

    • Agreed. The merchandising department seems delayed in getting products to the parks

  6. How does everyone feel about Monsters U? I, for one, am not super jazzed about it. I think I fear a continual decline at Pixar. Here’s to hoping for a high tomatometer.

    • My opinion is that it’s going to be a cheap knock-off of a classic and very original movie, and it will break $500 million for some reason. Pixar quality is sliding (had to happen after 20 years) but it doesn’t matter, it’s still a name. Slap that name on *anything* and it’s guaranteed to make a mint.

  7. great update. I’m sure there will be a lot more changes to the 24hr event this year to make it a better experience for all.

    • Agreed. Just knowing that it will be spread out into both parks will make a world of difference. I bet you that TDA has learned their lesson and will be fully prepared for any crowds that might show up on the 24th of May. They’ll do this right.

  8. Great update Norman!!

  9. Yay! Thanks for the update! Love the captions, as always! :P

  10. Okay, “Now, where did the coaster touch you?” is both brilliant and hilarious.

    I have a question about Big Thunder. It looks like the track isn’t pre-painted. And it also looks like there’s worn paint on the top and inside of the track as if its being re-used or has already had train cars running on it. Are they replacing 100% of the track or re-using some or all? Or am I mis-reading what I’m seeing? When WDW refurbed Big Thunder down here in my neck of the woods they installed freshly painted brown track that didn’t show any running wear until after they started running trains.

  11. I literally LOL’d at “Now, where did the coaster touch you?”
    Thank you for another wonderful update!!

  12. According to the park hours part of the DL website a Casey Jr. Refurb might be pending.

    • Another one? I know the last one was just to add the railings, but what more does it need?

  13. I spy a Mice Chat Meetup during the 24 hour even! Whatca guys think?

  14. Thank you for the update.

  15. Great update as usual!