Disneyland Resort has been busy putting all the finishing touches on the parks in time for a monstrous summer season. The Mickey and the Magic Map show is getting ready to debut in the newly renovated Fantasyland Theatre and a new sign was recently installed there. The New Orleans Square train station is under refurbishment as is the Sailing ship Columbia. But, by Memorial Day Weekend, most of the projects should be wrapping up.  Of course, there are some long term projects in the works which won’t be ready by summer at all. Along Main Street, exterior work continues on the future Starbucks location.  Big Thunder Mountain has reached the halfway mark in its 10 month refurbishment, and Rainbow Ridge is looking great once again. Last week we told you about the sinking road to Radiator Springs. This week finds troubles of a different stripe (literally). Let’s take a look around the resort and see what’s happening.


Disneyland Resort will be kicking off the Summer Season with the Monstrous 24 hour Summer event.  Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will open at 6am, Friday morning, May 24th, and then close at 6am on Saturday morning May 25th. The parks will then reopen at 8am for a normal business day on the 25th. Weird to close for those two hours, we know, but hey, even a mouse needs a break once in a while.

If you plan on attending all 24 hours, you will be allowed to park in both the Toy Story and Mickey and Friends lots.  We recommend the former as the structure is always nightmare.  Also, keep in mind that on Friday Night until 2am, the Cars Land, Pacific Wharf, and Paradise Pier areas of Disney California Adventure will be sectioned off for Grad Nite attendees only. Unless you are hot and heavy for a drink or to spend 24 hours in Hollywood Land, Buena Vista Street, Bugs Land, and Condor Flats, you are better off spending the night at Disneyland.

According to the Disney Parks Blog, among other activities Swing Dancing will make its return…

During the All-Nighter, the Royal Theatre at Fantasy Faire hosts a Royal Swing Ball, with a live band from 10 p.m. – 1:40 a.m., and beginning June 15 the “Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Party” will return to the Royal Theatre for select nights during the summer. Keep an eye on the calendar page on Disneyland.com for dates and information.


MiceChat’s Monorail Man will also be hosting a 24 hour meet up event if you are so inclined.  There will be fun activities throughout the day includeing an eye-spy event.

More details here


Great news for Swing Dancing fans. Beginning June 15 the “Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Party” will return to the Royal Theatre for select nights during the summer. Are you ready to dance?


Here, along Main Street, it has become common to see work which was once reserved for after hours only being conducted while guests are in the park.  Here, we see the exterior paint job nearly complete along the facade for the new Starbucks location on Main Street.

While the bright, gleaming new paint job looks nice…
The work mess out in public view isn’t what you expect to find in a Disney quality park.


While we applaud the quality work results, we do feel that it is bad show for this sort of work to be done during regular business hours. The Resort really needs to bring back a robust 3rd shift of night maintenance crews.


Here we see Big Thunder under refurbishment.  The trail behind the attraction is now open daily, just in time for the summer rush.  The attraction has reached the halfway mark in its refurbishment schedule and it all appears to be going smoothly.


You can already tell that Rainbow Ridge is going to look so awesome!  We can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Around the back of the attraction workers can be seen walking the track.


The small gift shop near the Matterhorn, Le Petit Chalet, has reopened.  Cleaned up and repainted, the store looks like new.


The signage for the re-christened Fantasyland Theatre appeared this week too.  It is wonderful to have this performance space back as the park has been lacking a daytime stage show in recent years.

OOOOO Magical Map proscenium!



A new music loop premiered in Fantasyland this week.  You can now hear atmosphere music throughout the area from a mix that includes more current Disney animated films. Seemingly emanating from the King Arthur Carousel, the music becomes more orchestral the further you are form the centerpiece attraction. It’s a great effect.


The Sailing Ship Columbia was down for a quick refurbishment this week to get it all spiffed up for summer crowds.  It is now back into normal operation.


Pathway work in front of the New Orleans Square/Frontierland station continues.  The area should be reopened soon.


Even when there is quite a bit of refurbishment going on, you’ll find that there is more than enough beauty in the park to make up for the construction walls.  Thank goodness!  Here we take in some of the prettier aspects of the park.

Over in Disney California Adventure the park is a well oiled machine. Guests continue to stream in and enjoy this reinvented experience.  We are fast approaching the one year anniversary of the park relaunch and we could not be happier with how things have played out this year.

We really hope the park will keep the WONDERFUL streetmoshpere characters! They really help make the tiny Buena Vista Street feel more substantial and real.



The repaving project in Cars Land is nearly finished up.  Slurry has been laid and all that is left to do is paint the streets to the exacting standards of the Pixar consultants inside TDA. That may have been more difficult than the folks doing the painting may have anticipated. On Monday, Andy Castro of Dateline Disneyland, showed us that the streets of Radiator Springs had already been painted. But on Tuesday, when we took many of these these photos, they were black again. Then, last night, we checked back one last time and found the road repainted once again.

Here’s Andy’s photo from Dateline Disneyland:

On Sunday, the street looked like this


And here’s Tuesday:

By Tuesday, it looked like this.

Obviously, someone wasn’t entirely happy with the previous results.

But then, Thursday night it looked like this…


and route markers

It seems that on the second try they got it right.  It’s fascinating how much money Disney will spend on getting the details exactly right, isn’t it?


Also, don’t forget about the big event being held at the Animation Academy today with animator Eric Goldberg.  Below is the full info…

Annual Passholder Animation Academy
A Limited Time Annual Passholder Magic Event
at Disney California Adventure
Friday, May 17, 2013

Annual Passholders can enjoy a special “Animation Academy” event this week with Disney animator Eric Goldberg where he’ll share stories on being an animator and teach attendees how to draw a character.

Annual Passholder Animation Academy

      Sharpen your pencils and get ready for a very animated experience. Annual Passholders are invited to hear behind-the-scenes stories from iconic Disney Animator Eric Goldberg, the Supervising Animator of great characters such as Genie, Phil, Louis and Rabbit. Plus, Eric will teach Passholders how to draw some classic Disney Characters!

Date: May 17, 2013

Event Location:  Animation Academy at Disney California Adventure Park.

Event Times: 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. – Each event presentation will last approximately 45 minutes.

Event Details: 

  • Passholders may register inside the Disney Animation building in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure Park upon Park opening (currently scheduled for 9:00 a.m.).
  • All participating Guests (ages 3 and older) must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event.
  • Children under 3 years of age may attend the event as long as space is available and they receive an event wristband during the registration process.
  • Registration must be completed in person at the Disney Animation building on the day of the event only; no phone reservations or other registration will be accepted.
  • It is recommended that all members of your party register together to help ensure that everyone receives an event wristband.
  • All participating Annual Passholders must present their valid Annual Passport to the event Cast Member, who will check event availability. Photo ID may be required.


We have been blown away by the traffic to our official podcast. Each month the downloads have doubled. We are absolutely floored and humbled by your support. If you missed the last podcast which takes a look at Disney’s Mystic Manor and Knott’s newly animatronic-stuffed Log Ride, please take a listen below.

Direct Link  |   iTunes Link

That should do it for this week as we prepare for the big opening of Mickey and the Magical Map and the HUGE 24 hour party that will be happening on March 24th. Are you planning to attend the 24 hour event? let us know your schedule and your plan of attack in the comments below. We’ll see you In The Parks!

  • brianpinsky

    Thanks for the great article. I want to know how they were able to pave over Carsland so quickly in just one over night section?

  • Internitty

    Do you feel it’s a bit of a cheat claiming DCA as open 24 hours when they are going to close off the most popular areas?

    • I don’t feel they have properly disclosed that the most popular parts of DCA will be closed to regular guests. They are certainly going to have a lot of upset customers once Disneyland is forced to close its gates.

      • Internitty

        That’s what I thought too. I think even people who are already in DCA will be disappointed after 2am.

  • Zeathos51

    My plan is to stay home and watch the 24 hour day on the hojo cam. All of the days I went to the park when it was quiet makes it calming to watch the park from Norco, knowing I’m not in the midst of the crowds. Then again, an event like that can be fun just to be at for the experience. Either way, it’s great to hear updates when I’m not working there or have an annual pass. Thanks Norm, I look forward to seeing the new Log Ride during the Veterans November at Knotts.

    • Internitty

      I remember looking at Hojo last 24 hour day and wondering why are there were so many people lined up at 3am (that’s about 9pm here i was in bed by 3am 😉 ). Love Hojo Cam it’s like a short international vacation in my living room 🙂

  • CTMike1079

    Sorry guys… I’ve been lurking on here for many years, and am just recently feeling the need to comment.
    I have issue with the “Le Petit Chalet” sign. Why would the “t” in “Chalet” overlap onto the scroll that has the words “Le Petit”? Very picky, I know, but it looks bad.

    • You are absolutely right! That’s the sort of silly design error that usually gets caught before the public sees it.

      • stitch1085

        It’s interesting that they repave, repaint, repave and repaint street markers for Cars Land, but when it comes to a sign for a shop they [email protected]$$ it with this glaring design error. Clean it up people!

    • RenMan

      I didn’t notice that about the Petit Chalet sign, but now that you mention it it looks really sloppy. Why did they leave it that way? It’s like somebody didn’t finish the design.

    • LoveStallion

      Incredibly spot-on. I didn’t even realize it.

  • faerla

    Great update! I can’t wait to visit the parks monday and again with my sister’s family in early June (for once I convinced them to come to SoCal midweek!)

    One tiny thing- I think you mean “May” 24th for the 24 hour psychotic craziness. Not March.

  • eicarr

    Great update. Just wish there was non-refurbishment constructin or ANYTHING being done to the embarassing Tomorrowland.

    Drinking coffee and eating pie at Flo’s would have been the coolest way to stay awake and soak up a neon and mountains at night. Crazy that wont be open!!

  • MatterhornMama

    Beautiful pics, Fishbulb! I am crying happy tears just thinking of our upcoming vaycay!

  • Meville

    Does anyone else see the irony in the Carsland street re-paving troubles…

    It’s just so fitting.

    • I don’t really think it is “Troubles” as much as it is perfectionism. Perfectionism I can live with. That’s a good thing.

      • Meville

        Oh I agree completely. It’s like Sally and Doc are behind it all, making sure that Mcqeen does a proper job!

  • scarymouse

    Great job Norm, I find it fascinating that they can have OCD on route 66 and be oblivious to the windows on Buena Vista St.and all the sign issues as of late . There must be a new boss or something…..oh wait there is…Hmm what’s up with the inconsistencies and uncovered work on Main street. Kinda upsetting, but glad to see other parts of the park up to par.

  • OriginalMousekteer

    “The work mess out in public view isn’t what you expect to find in a Disney quality park.

    While we applaud the quality work results, we do feel that it is bad show for this sort of work to be done during regular business hours. The Resort really needs to bring back a robust 3rd shift of night maintenance crews.”

    Completely disagree. For almost 50 years this kind of daytime maintenance was commonplace during the winter/off-season months. It was good enough for Walt and I see no problem with it. The flip side (which was ignored in the article) is that dozens of traditional first-shift jobs were converted to third shift, which is an extremely anti-family policy change (thank you, Michael Eisner).

  • Director_Guy

    “Seemingly emanating from the King Arthur Carousel, the music becomes more orchestral the further you are form the centerpiece attraction. It’s a great effect.”

    Do you mean to say the background music is in sync with the carousel? ‘Cause that’s pretty cool.