In The Parks: Disneyland Resort and the Sinking Road to Cars Land

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

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Published on May 03, 2013 at 3:00 am with 46 Comments

It was a slower week for Disneyland Resort news, but there is still plenty for us to share with you. We have exclusive news for you on the reopening of Space Mountain which should make Gumball Rally teams very happy. While  the Opera House continues a brief refurbishment, Disneyana and Market House are in process of consolidation into a single Starbucks location on Main Street, U.S.A..  Big Thunder is thankfully losing the big yellow crane that has towered above it for the past few months. And we check up on Disney California Adventure, where we learn that Cars Land has that sinking feeling. Literally.

The Disneyland Story, presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, is set to return this morning, Friday May 3rd.  While no real changes are expected, the show should look fresh and new.

MARKET HOUSE

The Disneyana Market House closure is making way for a newly expanded Starbucks location.  Exterior work is being done right now. Disney has papered up every window to keep the project as secret as possible.  (SPOILER ALERT) No free refills.

Looks like the name will remain “Market House.”

 

SPACE MOUNTAIN – CLEARED FOR LAUNCH

The safety closure of Space Mountain will soon come to an end. In exclusive news sent to us last night, we have learned that state mandated changes to the attraction have been completed. The new stairwell inside the Space Mountain dome, required to meet DOSH requirements, has been finished. New training procedures for the Attractions and Facilities CM’s on how to use the new stairwell begins on Friday (May 3rd). With that, Space Mountain should be ready to reopen this weekend, three weeks after the attraction closure madness began in Anaheim. Thank goodness.

FINDING NEMO SUBMARINE VOYAGE

On the other side of Tomorrowland, the Nemo subs have been on again/off again for the past two weeks due to a “fire” in one of the subs.  Apparently these problems stem from the aging batteries in the fleet of updated submersibles.  All of the subs were refurbished at the same time and it would stand to reason that the other batteries might not be too far behind in needing to be replaced. Disneyland is being proactive about safety and replacement, so it reasons that they’ll replace all of the batteries and get the attraction back up to full speed quickly.

 

BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD

This week, the iconic, yellow eyesore towering over the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad site was dismantled.  Track installation has been completed and now the project will move forward with painting of the repaired rock work and scene refreshing.

These pillars of rock will now be repainted.

In the meantime Rainbow ridge continues its reconstruction.

Some repairs were made to the foundation of the station, along the outer queue.  New stacked rock can be seen here.

BERMICIDE

It appears that the far reaches of Frontierland are disappearing along the back waters of the Rivers of America.  With the return of the Mark Twain, guests can easily travel along at a higher elevation, up on the third floor deck.  This vantage point, allows one to be at eye level with the berm that Walt Disney built around the park to enclose Disneyland and keep the real world out.  This wouldn’t be that big of a deal under normal circumstances.  But as the older, larger trees die off and are removed, Disney has not been replacing them as they should.  That, coupled with recent tree trimming make the backstage areas, make backstage, and even the Mickey and Friends parking structure, totally visible.

Mickey and Friends peeking over the berm.

The thinning trees allow for the illusion of an endless frontier to be broken.

Is that the Circle D Ranch?

The Indian Chief is upstaged by the void behind him.

 

MICECHAT PODCAST #7

The MiceChat Podcast is back with a very special episode featuring lots of great news and surprises.

Animatronics super genius, Garner Holt, stops by to discuss his involvement with new projects opening at Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm. We’ll take a look at Mystic Manor, Timber Mountain Log Ride, Universal’s 25 year Evolution Plan, Disneyland ride closures and much more. Plus, find out the scoop on where Al Lutz has been hiding.

Direct Download | Subscribe on iTunes

As we enter Disney California Adventure today, we see that the Storyteller statue is behind make-shift shrubbery for maintenance.

The hedges look better than plywood construction walls. But we still hope this is a quick refurbishment.

 

ANIMATION BLOOP

The art on the walls of the Animation building entrance just can’t seem to catch a break.  Scuffed, scratched or graffitied, there is more touch up work going on near “once upon a time”.  Making reparation particularly difficult is the cloudy blue pattern of the wall color.  Shame that this can’t be fixed in a more elegant way.

It’s a shame that guests aren’t more respectful of the parks.

 SOARIN’ BATHROOMS

The restrooms across from Soarin’ Over California are still under refurbishment.  The closest restrooms from here are either Buena Vista Street or the ones near The Little Mermaid.

 

CARS LAND

A strange new paving project has begun in Cars Land.  Starting at the threshold of Cars Land and stretching all the way down to the courthouse, the outer perimeter of the street has been removed and replaced.

We’ve been told that the pavement along Route 66 was sinking prematurely because of all the heavy foot traffic the area has received in the last 10 months. Disneyland knew they had to go back and correct the sunken and warped areas, so the street is getting repaved in several phases this week. When complete, the entire street is to be covered in all new blacktop slurry and then all lines and Route 66 symbols repainted by the weekend. John Lasseter and team from Pixar are in Anaheim to inspect the work and approve it.

It appears that they have focused on the drainage fixtures first.

The resident Pixar team is a setup that exists only at the Disneyland Resort, even though Pixar attractions have been built at all of the other Disney resorts. The team routinely inspects the Pixar-based attractions in Anaheim to make sure they are looking their best.  We are pretty lucky to have such a team keeping up on things here.  Let’s just hope that if Cars Land ends up in Florida, that they get a similar team.

And that should cover things for this week from the Disneyland Resort.  We would like to wish the teams of this weekend’s MiceChat Gumball Rally good luck!  Play hard, be good sports, and may you roll on to victory! May the 4th be with you.

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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  1. [...] In The Parks: Disneyland Resort and the Sinking Road to Cars LandMiceChatWhile the the Opera House continues a brief refurbishment, Disneyana and Market House continue to be consolidated into a single Starbucks location on Main Street, U.S.A.. Big Thunder is thankfully losing the big yellow crane that has towered above it … [...]

  2. Soo the visitors are too heavy!! lol

  3. More great pictures from within Disneyland & DCA – am I the only one wondering why it is taking so long for The Disneyana Market House to transition into a Starbucks? Are there some building code issues to deal with? Usually its wham bam done asap! Park Guests will adjust to no free refills thanks to uber lattes …

    State Mandated changes to Space Mountain’s exterior – what exactly needed to be done? Why did TDA take so long to do it? (comply with CAL-OSHA) Will we see pictures of the remodeled stairwell inside the Space Mountain dome? What exactly does these new training procedures for CM’s involve? Is it handicap access related? Is it In Case Of An Emergency Exit Here related?

    I am shocked to read that the Finding Nemo Submarines are experiencing technical difficulties due to a fire in one of the subs” (was TDA too cheap to update the aging batteries in their fleet of submersibles?). I think we can all agree with CAL-OSHA watching Disneyland – DCA this closely? TDA has no choice but to be proactive about safety (two main attractions down in Tomorrowland – I’m sure the longer queue lines for Star Tours 2.0 and Buzz Lightyear must suck) ….

    I can not wait for Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland to re-open (I am hoping that whatever needed to be rebuilt in what remains of Rainbow Ridge retains its vintage charm). I am very disappinted by the images showing the Rivers of America (Frontierland) devoid of trees which keep Frontierland separate from Mickey’s Toon Town / Fantasyland. TDA not replacing old trees is on par with a Six Flags theme park not caring about its landscaping (because I expect this from Six Flags who have a smaller budget to operate yearly). C’mon TDA, Park Guests and Disney Theme Park Fans are going to complain LOUDLY if nothing is done soon …

    DCA – yikes! the area for Soarin’ Over California looks awful. I hope more then just repaving the streets of Radiator Springs take place (TDA should learn that a Theme Park requires non stop maintaining or else the Internet provides a place for fellow Theme Park Fans to voice their complaints!) ….

    THANK YOU for an awesome podcast !