Monstrous Summer Puts Mickey Back on the Map at Disneyland

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

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Published on May 24, 2013 at 4:00 am with 11 Comments

A monstrous Disneyland Resort update is here for you today, filled with all of the information you will need to survive the upcoming weekend.  With the 24-hour madness event underway at Disneyland today (May 24th), we also find some patriotic flourishes slathered on Main Street for Memorial Day that will hang on through the 4th of July. There is also some new bits of Limited Time Magic sprinkled along the Small World mall in preparation for a Greek themed celebration called OPA! We have all sorts of little news items for you today, but it’s Mickey and the Magical Map which is the true star of the day.

MONSTROUS SUMMER 24 HOUR PARTY KICK-OFF

To launch Disney’s “Monstrous Summer” promotional campaign, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will stay open for a full 24 hours starting at 6 a.m. this Friday, May 24. Below is a guide to the day’s events with special menu options, entertainment and more.

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Theme Park Hours
Both theme parks will be open for 24 hours May 24-25, 6 a.m. – 6 a.m.

 Early Arrival:
Guests can begin lining up for Monstrous Summer All-Nighter theme park admission beginning at 10:00 p.m. on May 23 in the Main Entrance Plaza.

Parking
Mickey and Friends Parking Structure and Toy Story Parking Lots will open at 5:00 a.m. on May 24. Guests arriving before 5:00 a.m. can park at the Pumbaa Parking Lot starting at 10:00 p.m. on May 23.

Below is a breakdown of events by time.  For a comprehensive listing of offerings, read Andy Castro’s Dateline Disneyland from Monday HERE

 

Thursday, May 23rd

6:00 PM – Harbor Blvd. Drop-Off Lot closed to all vehicle traffic for the remainder of the event.

7:00 PM – Fantasyland closes for Media Party for Mickey & The Magical Lamp debut.

8:00 PM – Entry Queue and Media Riser setup begins in Esplanade between both parks.

9:00 PM – Disneyland closes for the day (with Media Party in Fantasyland).

9:30 PM – Mickey & Friends Parking Structure, Toy Story Parking Lot and Downtown Disney Parking Lots closed to all traffic, with all arriving vehicles directed to park in Pumbaa Parking Lot on Disney Way. No shuttle service will be offered in Pumbaa until 8:00 AM on Friday morning.

10:00 PM – Early arrivals will be queued in Harbor Blvd. Drop-Off Lot, before being moved to roped queues in the Esplanade. Monsters University “Eye” glasses given out to first few thousand people in Esplanade. Monstrous Summer buttons to be given out at turnstiles for first few thousand people through the gates in the morning.

11:00 PM – Grad Nite begins in DCA, until 3:00 AM.

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Guests await entry into DCA

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Friday, May 24th

5:00 AM – Mickey & Friends Parking Structure and Toy Story Parking Lot open with tram and bus service.

5:55 AM – Small kickoff ceremony and media event in Esplanade as both parks open for the day.

6:00 AM – Both parks open for the day, with Cars Land, Tower of Terror and some Paradise Pier attractions not open yet due to delayed overnight maintenance from Grad Nite the night before.

5:00 PM – Pixar Play Parade, from Tower of Terror.

6:30 PM – Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, from It’s A Small World.

7:00 PM – Pixar Play Parade, from Paradise Pier.

9:00 PM – World of Color at DCA, Fantasmic! at Disneyland.

9:00 PM – First of four special Monsters Inc. screenings of full movie begin at MuppetVision Theater.

9:00 PM – Mad T Party opens, no alcohol served due to Grad Nite guests in attendance.

9:30 PM – Magical Fireworks Spectacular at Disneyland.

10:15 PM – World of Color at DCA.

10:30 PM – Fantasmic! at Disneyland.

10:45 PM – Cars Land, Paradise Pier & Tower of Terror closed for Grad Nite; only Grads with wristbands allowed in these areas until 3:00 AM (Radiator Springs Racers will close for the night at 2:00 AM and not reopen).

12:00 Midnight – Character Pajama Party in Toontown, dancing and Disney cartoons screened at outdoor theater, cocoa & cookies served.

12:30 AM – Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, from Town Square.

2:00 AM – Monsters U light show at Castle, Disneyland.

3:00 AM – Cars Land & Paradise Pier reopen after Grad Nite. Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin’ and Tower of Terror all will remain closed for overnight maintenance.

5:30 AM – Mad T Party and Toontown Pajama Party closes.

5:55 AM – Farewell Announcement played in parks, set to the tune of “Now it’s time to say goodbye” song from Mickey Mouse Club.

6:00 AM – DCA and Disneyland close.

9:00 AM – DCA and Disneyland reopen for normal Saturday operation, with several major attractions delayed in opening due to overnight maintenance.

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6 am hit and the gates opened to both parks.

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The Disneyland Band played for guests at opening.

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Parkgoers streamed into Main Street

 

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Mickey and his staff greeted guests.

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A 24 day full of fun and adventure!

MICKEY AND THE MAGICAL MAP

The Fantasyland Theatre is finally a performance venue again, after years of being relegated to a princess meet and greet. The new show, Mickey and the Magical Map, brings with it the return of the classic format theme park musical show. MiceChat was at the press event for the show last night and we left with an overall positive impression. The stage itself is a bit of technical wizardry with characters popping in and out of a massive digital screen. The music and dancing are solid and the show offers plenty of your favorite Disney characters. That isn’t to say that the show is without flaw. For our full review, please read the article we published last night (here), just moments after the press event ended.

Daily Showtimes Starting Saturday, May 25:
11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 5:40 p.m.

LIMITED TIME MAGIC

Disneyland and DCA will soon be host to a global celebration featuring different cultures of the world.

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Celebrate the music, dance, tradition, flavors, and fun of Greece at this first-of-its-kind evenwhere you can immerse yourself in an odyssey of authentic Greek experiences that will entertain both children and adults. Opa get’s underway May 25th through 27th in both Disneyland and California Adventure.

INSIDE DISNEYLAND

  • Train with Hercules: 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. Learn archery and shot put techniques from Hercules.
  • Meet Mickey: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dressed in traditional fustanella attire, meet Mickey at a special Hellenistic Greek backdrop.
  • The Citizens of Greece: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Interact with the Citizens of Greece as they educate, philosophize and guide you through the festivities.
  • Cultural arts, crafts and games 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

FOOD

  • Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port: Greek pizza
  • Carnation Cafe: Sustainable fish served Mediterranean-style with chunky ratatouille.
  • Small World Outdoor Vending Carts: Feta bread with red pepper hummus, Baklava and Melomakarona

INSIDE Disney California Adventure

  • Meet Mickey: 10 – 5:30 p.m. Dressed in traditional fustanella attire, meet Mickey at a special Hellenistic Greek backdrop.
  • Live Performances: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:40 p.m., 3:40 p.m.
    Live Greek musicians and dancers.
  • Wine Seminars: May 25: 11:20 a.m., 12:50 p.m., 2:10 p.m.
    May 26: 12:50 p.m., 3:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m.
    May 27: 12:50 p.m., 3:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 6:10 p.m.
  • The Citizens of Greece 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Interact with the Citizens of Greece as they educate, philosophize and guide you through the festivities.
  • Cultural arts, crafts and games 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Spontaneous circular Kalamatiano line dances Randomly, throughout the day.

FOOD

  • Paradise Garden Grill: Gyro served with tabouleh and tzatziki.
  • Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta: Greek flatbread, Greek salad, Melomakarona.
  • Bayside Brews: Meze Plate, Hummus, Tabouleh and Pasta Salad, Mythos Lager, Spanikopita Swirl, Boutari Wine
  • Paradise Garden Outdoor Vending: Melomakarona, Spanikopita Swirl, Baklava.
  • Mendocino Terrace at Golden Vine Winery: Boutari Wine Selection.

BIG THUNDER

Big Thunder’s refurb continues, as several construction fences disappear around the back side and Rainbow Ridge shows clearly visible progress.

With the heavy work on the actual attraction well underway, focus has now turned to renovating the load/unload station. Scaffolding and wood replacement can be seen as workers populate the structure and surrounding area.

Then, of course, we can see nice woodwork and detail emerging on the buildings of Rainbow Ridge.

We can’t wait to take another ride on the runaway mine train.  Are you ready for Big Thunder to return?

MAIN STREET READY FOR MEMORIAL DAY

As guests enter the park, they will notice that patriotic bunting has been hung on the buildings of Main Street U.S.A. in anticipation of Memorial Day.  The decorations will remain up until after July 4th. Sharp-eyed flower enthusiasts will also notice that floral arrangements have been installed which also evoke the stars and stripes in tones of red, white, and blue.

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Red and white begonias overflow from pots hung on light posts in Town Square.

Blue Delphinium surround the flag pole.

Blue Lobelia and red zinnia populate the outer flowerbeds in Town Square.

Red Begonia and light and dark lubilia are placed in the flowerbed facing the castle.

IRON MAN’S EFFECT ON INNOVENTIONS

Now that the hype has died around the new Iron Man exhibit, we decided to pop into Innoventions to see what the crowds were like.

Okay, so, lines aren’t forming outside anymore.

Entering the building, we see that the Iron Man exhibit is still a pretty active place, filled with fans of the franchise.

The good news, for Innoventions at least, is that the crowds seemed a lot more distributed throughout the area.  Crowds, having seen the Iron Man exhibit, are now distributing throughout the air-conditioned techno palace to see what else there is to offer.

Interest definitely wanes as guests head downstairs however, as people seem to be trying to find the exit or a place to sleep at that point.  Still, it is nice to see that the Iron Man draw is enough to keep this dead attraction sanguine and almost vibrant.  Iron Man fans, this is a good thing.  Keep your fingers crossed.

TRAINED

There has been a lot of speculation recently with the renovation of the New Orleans train station and its possible relation to any Cal/OSHA DOSH mandates for Cast Member safety.  There have also been rumors that the state demanded that guests stop riding on the tender seat with the two engineers piloting each train. Let’s set the record straight.

To begin with, the renovation of the New Orleans Square train station is merely addressing the pathways out front, and hasn’t much to do with the actual operations of the station itself.  On top of that, guests are still allowed to ride with engineers at the front of the train on what is known as the Tender Seat.  The Tender seat is a small, two-person bench that is just outside the train engine canopy, behind the engineers who monitor the steam powered locomotive trains that circle the park.  While you do not hear the normal music and narration that the regular guests hear riding in the passenger cars, you do get to see how the train operates and engage the engineers in some pretty interesting conversation.  This is not a guaranteed experience and is only offered at the cast member’s discretion or availability.

But, here is where the Cal/OSHA DOSH mandates and Disney’s over-zealous safety procedures come in. There are two spots along the Disneyland track that the trains can refill their tanks with water that is used to create the steam that powers them.  Those spots are Tomorrowland and, of course, New Orleans Square with it’s traditional, iconic water tower.  The normal procedure at New Orleans Square had cast members stopping at the station, climbing on top of the train’s water tank, and reaching up to pull the water reservoir down from the water tower to fill up the train.

It was deemed too unsafe for cast members to climb up onto the train to reach for the reservoir as it was above the state mandated 4 feet limit without a guard rail.

A rolling ladder with protective chains was then installed.  But rolling ladders don’t really do all that well on gravel.

What to do?  Disney now simply has the engineers filling the train via a re-routed water line that snakes under the tower.

They missed a spot.

Cast members now simply climb up onto the side of the train, which is still a safe thing apparently, and they refill the train this way.  After all is done, the hose and awkward PVC spigot are then hung up on the underside of the tower.

Our question after witnessing the whole procedure was this; Why don’t they just make the chain on the reservoir longer?  Thoughts?

BUENA VISTA STREET BUNTING

Not to be outdone by Main Street, Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street is awash with red, white, and blue as well.

All of it looks great, if not a little bit at odds with the surroundings for being too clean and bright.

CARTHAY SHADE

Not a year old, and they are already modifying the Carthay Circle Theatre restaurant.  It’s a good thing, though, as this will offer much needed shade to the outdoor dining area. The question is, will they be able to make it look nice enough that it doesn’t detract from the rest of the building?

 

By Thursday the north-facing side of the building had its canopy completed.  It is a cloth canopy that can be folded in as needed.  No worries for fireworks viewing.

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MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

The Monsters University set dressing arrived in Hollywood Land this week, just in time for the Monstrous Summer promotion and movie tie-in.  Don’t forget to go say hi to Sully!

But WAIT, That’s Not All . . .

We have a brand new MiceChat podcast for you today which we recorded for you this week. It’s a comprehensive look at all the new attractions opening for Summer 2013 in parks across the country. And in true MiceChat style, there’s quite a bit of gossip and insider discussions to be enjoyed as well.

The latest MiceChat Podcast was sponsored by Audible books. They are offering you a free audio book if you click through: http://audiblepodcast.com/micechat

MiceChat’s 24 Hour Maniacal Madness Meetup:

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Are you planning to visit the Disneyland Resort during the big 24 hour event? So are we. Why not meet up with some of our MicePals?

 Our challenge, as crazy as it sounds, will be to spend a full 24 hours in the parks! 12 hours in Disneyland, and 12 hours in DCA! So pack some energy drinks, snacks, extra cellphone batteries, and get ready for a good time!

We’re giving away special MiceChat meet buttons for the first 50 that meet up with us!

Can’t spend the full 24 hours or get the day off work? I understand! Instead, when you make it into the park, call the 24-hour loony-line at (949) 336-2779, and find out where we are!

In addition to a general meet-up line, we’ll have some hosted meet-ups to launch the fun, get through the mid-day, and marry the night!

If you can’t join us in the parks, I’ll be LIVE Tweeting on the @MiceChat Twitter account all 24 hours!

Here’s the full 24 hour meet schedule:
6:00AM – Parks Open

7:00 AM – Maniacal Morning – We’ll start the fun at 7:00AM on Main Street USA, meet me at the flagpole in town square, and we’ll grab some breakfast around 7:30AM!

12:00 PM – Nutty Noon at the Hub – It’s like a Sunday meet on a Friday!? Join us at Walt’s right hand, and we’ll chat for 30 minutes, and then head out for lunch!

We’re 12 hours in, so let’s hop over to DCA!

6:00 PM – Wacky Wharf Food – Join us for Dinner in the Pacific Wharf area of DCA, where we’ll grab dinner, and enjoy the park as the sun sets!

 

CAUTION! Parks may be super busy! CAUTION!
Due to the crazy crowds last year that started at around 9:00PM, you may not be able to park-hop late at night! Call the Looney Line to figure out where the group is!


9:00 PM – Late Lunacy in DCA – Meet us at the Fiddler, Fife, and Practical Cafe! If we can, we’ll grab some Starbucks to get the caffeine flowing to get us through the night!

12:00 AM Midnight – Midnight Fountain Follies – We’ll do a ‘reverse noon’ meet at DCA’s Carthay Circle Fountain!

2:00 AM – Red-Eye Spy Start – You’ve played our Eye Spy during the day, so how about at night! We’ll meet up at the upper Terrace of the Golden Vine Winery (near the entrance to the Blue Sky Cellar), and you’ll form teams of 1 to 4. Then, you’ll have one hour to figure out the locations of some Eye Spy photos! Due to Grad Nite, some of the areas might be closed, making it extra tricky!

3:00 AM – Red-Eye Spy Packet Turn In – Turn in your packets at the same spot, and we’ll grade them!

3:30 AM – Red-Eye Spy Winners! – We’ll have some fun and craptacular prizes for playing in our eye spy!

5:30 AM – Sunrise over Cars Land – Meet on the back patio of Flo’s (facing Racers) for a send off of Disney’s second 24 hour event!

6:00 AM – Parks close – We did it!

And that’s a wrap. Are you headed off to the parks today for 24 hours of insanity? We’d love to see you if you are. And if you aren’t, you’re really the smart ones, aren’t you?! Looking forward to Mickey and the Magical Map?

We’ll see you again soon, 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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11 Comments

Comments for Monstrous Summer Puts Mickey Back on the Map at Disneyland are now closed.

  1. Another fine update, Norm! Thank you!

    Asimo could use a new trick. Has he resumed “running”?
    Why the quotes? His two feet were off the ground at the same time for less time than some of the olympic “walkers,” but it was still kind of cool.

    Tell me you wouldn’t line up to see Asimo fight Mr. Lincoln. :)

    • Lincoln would kick Asimo’s servo! Bam! ;-)

  2. I’m going to check in on the crowd situation after work. If its possible to park, I’ll stop by to say hello to the MiceChatters for an hour or two tonight. But I won’t stay up all night. In fact, I don’t know that its even possible for me to stay up all night ;-)

    Monorail Man’s Eye Spy sounds like so much fun. But we’ll see if I make it that far. ;-)

    Great review of the new Mickey and the Magical Map Norm. Sounds like you really enjoyed it, but thought it could still be improved. For a theme park show, that’s pretty good praise. Looking forward to seeing it myself this weekend. I’ve missed live theater at Disneyland.

  3. I had a great trip to Disneyland last week. The crowd was moderate. It must be insane today, with thousands lined up before the 6AM opening. My niece’s 3 year old, who lives in New Jersey, had a fabulous time meeting Cinderella and the others at the Prince Fair. When they recognized her in the crowd during the parade, later, she went into the super happy mode. There were four generations of mothers partying it up at Disneyland that day.

  4. Great update, as far as the water tank refilling station a chain that is longer or a pulley system, that allows the spigot to be lowered and raised, then lockable to keep it away from wandering guests. Simple and easy, and will maintain the ambiance of the station.

  5. Great podcast! Perfect amount of time given to all topics.

    Wish they had a “Marvel Superhero summer” instead of a “Second Rate Pixar Sequal Summer.” It amazes me that Disney has the #1 movies of 2012 AND 2013 and doesn’t try to capitalize on them at Disneyland. I guess the parks are too crowded.

  6. Norm, how were the pre-opening crowds this morning, compared to Leap Day? We were there for the latter, and the line extended all the way down Harbor Blvd past the 15 min. parking stalls, etc. From the looks of it, it doesn’t look quite as active… but I could be wrong.

    • You know, it was pretty mellow. The whole esplanade was organized into lines that only reached to the center of the area, the parks opened, and people went in.

      The real test will be later, after people get off work.

  7. I can’t believe how calm the crowds were compared to Leap Day! It wasn’t much worse than a normal weekend op.

  8. I put DOSH right up there with the EPA and IRS. Just another ridiculous government agency known for overstepping its boundaries, and Disneyland has to bow down to every one of their silly demands.

  9. Dude, that metal ladder is just…ugly…It MAY of worked fine if in Tomorrowland (May of) but if this is a permanent solution I agree, either make the chain longer or devote just a small amount of time, effort, and money into making a small wooden ladder modeled just like that. At least aged wood will look a whole lot better than that scrap metal