In The Parks: Disneyland and Honest Abe

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

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Published on May 10, 2013 at 4:00 am with 29 Comments

Something quite rare and very special happened at the Disneyland Resort this week. . . off-season crowds. That, along with cooler weather made this a great week for the parks, aside from a bit of much needed rain.  Things are actually quite mellow at the moment with the biggest news being the repaving project in Cars Land and a few residual closings from Disney’s worker safety crusade. Still, there is plenty of interesting info to be shared and sights to be seen.  Let’s get started, shall we?

INDIANA JONES TEMPORARY SHUT DOWN

In the ever evolving story of Disney and their pursuit of worker safety, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye was shuttered this week for a few days. The closure happened on Tuesday morning, very suddenly. The attraction should be up again soon.

THE DISNEY STORY FEATURING
GREAT MOMENTS WITH MR. LINCOLN

The classic attraction, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, has returned this week with no changes to the show, and only one minor adjustment in the lobby exhibits.

The only change noticed in the lobby was the removal of Tony Baxter’s personal collection of Disneyland Ride Tickets.

Now that Mr. Baxter is no longer a regular employee of the company, he’s taken some of his personal things with him. The funny thing about this is that when the exhibit first opened, we were invited to a very special private event with Tony Baxter in this space and he said that when he left the company, he’d take these with him. He was true to his word. Though, doesn’t it seem strange that the company couldn’t think of anything else to put in here? What about a history of name badges, old pins, some classic ear hats. Come on, there has to be something?!

 

The show inside is totally unchanged, but is still just as good.

MAIN STREET STARBUCKS

Not too much to see at the future Starbucks location on Main Street.  Exterior painting is happening around the corner.

Acid-free masking tape dangles from the fruits and vegetables sign.

Shades of lavender and purple

 

BIG THUNDER TRAIL

Now that the huge yellow crane has joined Yesterland and no longer hovers over Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the path behind the ride is now open daily.  Big Thunder Trail is still partially occupied by construction equipment for the massive refurbishment but it is navigable.

Walking along Big Thunder Trail you can sometimes spy construction happening within the attraction.

Rainbow Ridge construction.

 

BERM-A-SHAVE

The problem is not going to go away overnight.  Not without a little bit of pixie dust anyway.  But it needs to be mentioned that the magical berm around the back of Frontierland continues to erode.  Gone is the illusion of endless wilderness.  In its place are views of back stage and the Mickey and friends parking structure.

Looking back at Splash Mountain and the Hungry Bear restaurant, things look great.

But further along the river, Mickey and Friends is clearly visible.

At least the ducks are still cute.

 

Perhaps we should have a MiceChat bake sale and raise enough money to plant some trees for the cash-strapped resort. ;-)   We kid, of course.

NEW ORLEANS SQUARE

Strolling thorough New Orleans Square, we see that the train station continues under refurbishment.

The Cars Land repaving project is nearly done.The pavement has sunk over the last year of use, imperceptibly to most. But kudos to Disneyland and John Lasseter for wanting to keep things in perfect shape. Though, that does mean a minor bit of inconvenience while they get the details just right.

The street painting still needs to be finished.

Looks like an airport runway at the moment, but the lines and Route 66 markings will return soon.

 

The fountain in front of the Cozey Cone Motel is drained while they give it a bit of maintenance.

The Disneyland resort looks great and is gearing up for what will certainly be a busy Summer.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL . . .

The MiceChat Podcast is a great way to catch up with what’s new and what’s news in the Disney and theme park industry. Join Dusty Sage, Doug Barnes and a cast of super stars from Garner Holt Productions as they explore some really exciting news.

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Congratulations again to all the top placing teams in the Gumball Rally, and we will see you 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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29 Comments

Comments for In The Parks: Disneyland and Honest Abe are now closed.

  1. I always enjoy these updates. Thanks!

  2. Has the berm issue been ongoing or is this just Disney trimming the trees in anticipation of coming seasonal growth?

    • It’s an ongoing thing as trees fall and are removed, but not replaced (or are replaced with saplings). But it’s really starting to look sparse in areas. At the very least, they need to obscure the show buildings and parking garage.

      • I don’t know Dusty. if they try and disguise the area the way the did the Indy show building all those years with that bad news green tarp, maybe they ought to just let it go.
        You’ve seen the way they ‘disguised’ the emergency repairs on Alice too. the company’s just too cheap to really make these things look right anymore.

      • Perhaps a mural would be more durable than trees…the berm has always been a potential troublemaker.

  3. Thank you Norm! Abe looks great. It’s an attraction which has always been a little creepy for me because he’s so real looking. At least the Animatronics in Pirates and Mansion are a bit cartoonish, which takes the edge off. But he’s still amazing.

    I’m glad Tony took his stuff with him. I just hope Disney realizes what a critical asset they lost when he left. It’s really hard to believe he’s gone.

    • .
      Yeah, you got that right!

  4. These “safety” closures are totally out of hand, in another article someone commented that someone in DOSH seems to have it in for Disneyland and you can’t help thinking this is the case. I only hope Disney make those escape routes and walkways on Big Thunder right so it’s not closed down the day after it reopens, you can guarantee they’ll be lurking in the bushes watching although not the Frontierland bushes since they are a rapidly disappearing piece of staging, Walt would be so proud. I am totally for an Arbour Day planting even if they are small trees that kids from local schools get to plant and we can watch them grow and return the show back to the way it is supposed to be in 50 years.
    I’m glad Tony Baxter collected his stuff and I hope he comes back for the rest asap, Disney could have done a nice display of all sorts of items, although a few years back they sold off so many original props, costumes and assorted rarities on eBay, maybe there’s nothing left.

  5. Doesn’t Red Rockets Pizza Port have a lot of Tony’s personal collection of Disneyland Attraction Posters on display? Will those be disappearing soon too?

    • Hopefully Pizza Port itself will be disappearing along with them.

      • Heresy. I actually enjoy Pizza Port. It’s not amazing or anything, but the fusilli pasta dish is decent, and the pizza slices – while not cheap – aren’t much worse than what they would cost on the street in New York.

        But that area, overall, looks lame. So much wasted space.

      • Even if Tony wanted the originals back, those posters would be easy enough to scan and reproduce from the ‘Print On Demand’ style industrial dot-matrix poster & banner printers.

  6. Hey! I have some ideas about what they can put in the Tony Baxter display cases:
    What about the evolution of the Rocket Rods, from design concept to budget cuts to unveiling and finally their closure.
    Or they could do a display of all the “GO.com” logos, including the court mandated re-designs because of copyright infringement.
    How about an estimated cost of designing and maintaining the Pirates or the Mansion since their inception vs. the profits they’ve garnered from these “E” ticket rides, and then a justification on why they can’t re-do Tomorrowland properly.
    Does anyone need to see Captain EO ever again?
    Just saying.

  7. There’s something about Lincoln’s face that doesn’t look right. Maybe it’s the advanced animatronics in his face, but he looked better in the original version. Before, he was somehow more ‘at ease’?

    Tony Baxter taking back his old ticket books – you would think that Disneyland would have old ticket books around somewhere?

  8. Great update! Everything is looking sharp. I know the trees will eventually fill in… they know what they’re doing.

    Even if I only see Lincoln every other trip its nice to know he’s there on a hot afternoon for me. I guess Lincoln passed DOSH inspections :)

    I hope Tony’s stuff makes it to the Disney Family Museum for an exhibition.

  9. I feel like there is a Tony Baxter conspiracy! lol

    • No kidding! Tony Baxter retired yet folks are saying they’re happy he took his stuff like it was a bad breakup. If the items belonged to him, it seems rather normal to take them back upon leaving the company. To be happy about it implies something else entirely. Am I missing something? Should Disney deny his retirement, keep his stuff, lock him in the castle and force him to draw concept art for the next 30 years? He was irreplaceable but this all seems like an attempt to make a point.

  10. The only reason I’m posting this here is because the berm was mentioned………meaning I thought about the DL railroad…………….meaning I have wanted to ask Disneyland fans this question: Does anyone remember (about 20 years ago right after the train left Main Street and started to go towards Adventureland) a rock with an animatronic black panther/leopard snarling at the train as it went by? I swea r to G*d I saw that and thought it was great since it let you know you were in Adventureland and there was actually something to look at. It was a great little “plus”. A few years later when we went back, the rock was still there but the panther was gone. So somebody tell me I’m not crazy and that they remember that cat. I can’t find any proof and my family thinks I imagined it. Thanks.

    • I remember the cat.

  11. You are remembering correctly. There was definitely a black panther (?) on that rock.
    If I’m not mistaken, you can still hear the audio of it roaring, and if you look closely at the top of the rock, you can see where all four of its paws were mounted. :)

    • It was a black leopard (aka panther). It wasn’t animatronic, but stationary like some of the animals along the River of America.

  12. Thanks for the update

  13. Is Cars Land being repaved with concrete (like the parade route) instead of asphalt? The texture looks quite different now, especially in the pictures showing the intersection of the new pavement on Route 66 against the old asphalt still on the side streets.

    Also, I’m surprised there hasn’t been much of a fuss about the new Princess looks. They’ve now rolled out Aurora and Belle, maybe Snow White too, since Cinderella’s look changed. Thoughts? I’d love to see some side-by-side comparisons, especially considering how different the new designs are.
    Thanks for all you do!

    • its getting repaved with smaller rock asphalt which should handle the pressure a bit better.

    • I’m not at all happy about the Princesses getting those horrible makeovers. All 11 of them are supposed to get that cheesy looking “cosplay” look eventually. Even Pocahontas? Seriously?
      I was hoping this was just for the Limited Time Magic promotion, but according to a friend who is one of the Princesses, these makeovers are going to be permanent.
      They seem to have made a conscious effort to “not” look like they do in the movies. And for guests I would think that’s a big ripoff. You come to the parks to see the characters come to life off the screen. But now you’re getting some bizarro version of the Princesses.
      I know the look of the Princesses have changed over the decades, but they were all changes that still emulated the look from the movie. Not so anymore. They look terrible!

  14. Great report as usual. They need full grown trees, obviously, a bake sale is needed!

  15. Was Lassetter involved in the Little Mermaid ride in DCA? I think someone needs to go back into that ride and do something with it. It’s so vanilla and one of the most boring dark rides of all time. This was such a huge let down.

    • “Was Lassetter involved in the Little Mermaid ride in DCA? I think someone needs to go back into that ride and do something with it. It’s so vanilla and one of the most boring dark rides of all time. This was such a huge let down”

      Could not agree more!! Although some changes have been made since its debut (soft serve Ariel hair) I have found this one to be lacking and although we come down from Vegas on average once a month we rarely ride this anymore.