Disneyland Resort Prepares To Roll Out Red Carpet For The Lone Ranger

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

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Published on June 21, 2013 at 3:30 am with 39 Comments

Disney California Adventure is getting ready to host the world premiere of Disney’s The Lone Ranger. We’ve got the scoop and photos for you. In the meantime, the resort has found an acceptable solution to the safety railings that were installed on the rooftops in Mickey’s ToonTown and fresh plantings have been added in Town Square, which brighten the whole area with a patriotic flare. Plus, construction updates and the unfortunate return of Dancin’ With Disney.  Let’s get to it.

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PATRIOTIC PLANTINGS PROLIFERATE IN TOWN SQUARE

The flowers in Town Square have been switched out once again.  Reinforcing the patriotic motif, fiery red celosia frame the street from their flowerbeds on the outer rim of the square.

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The light poles are adorned with American flags.

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Begonia baskets enhance the light posts

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The flowerbeds in the center of Town Square are stuffed with red, white, and “blue” petunias.

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And, of course, white petunias and purple salvia (we think) wrap the base of the flag pole.

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Finally, the tip of Town Square, facing the castle feature white petunias and stunning red celosia.

STARBUCKS

The news here is that there really isn’t any news.  Try as we might, we can’t see any progress from the outside.  They’ve closed this one up tight. However, the Main Street Bakery featuring Starbucks at the Magic Kingdom in Florida did open this week. Take a look at our WDW Starbucks article here and let us know if you think Disneyland’s version will be higher caliber.

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Incidentally, it appears they have removed signage from the Main Street Cone Shop on Center Street. The old sign was ice cream cone shaped with popcorn light edging. The sign hung between the two upper windows of the building. The windows were rarely open but offered a quick escape from the long lines at Gibson Girl across the way.

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TOONTOWN

We have some good news to report out of ToonTown today. Of course, it’s not all good. . .

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The bad first:  The hills behind Minnie’s house have remained untouched.  They are literally peeling. A little bit of sanding and some touch-up paint would fix this quickly. Much of backdrop is fine, but the parts that aren’t really look shabby.

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But there is good news.  Very good in fact. In a previous update we mentioned the safety rails that were installed on top of the show building for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.  We cautiously hoped that the pictures we took were a temporary solution and that the rails could somehow be painted to blend in or hidden completely.

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This is how it looked BEFORE

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And this is how it looks AFTER

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BEFORE

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They’ve added a painted wall in front of where castmembers might walk. While it isn’t as detailed as the brick facades below, it is much better than the ugly handrails.

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It sure is nice to see an effort to theme the safety measures.  It’s not the most finished looking solution, but it works.

BIG THUNDER

Strolling around the back of Big Thunder Mountain, we see that the lower areas of rock work are receiving a new paint job.  Will the scaffolds grow and move their way up the mountain?

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One of the few remaining serene spots in the park, Big Thunder trail, has a calm feeling to it, even with the construction near by.

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A quiet nook of the park, this pond is home to koi fish and turtles.

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The koi fish swim lazily in the water and add a sense of life and movement

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Coming around the front of Big Thunder we see more scaffolding along the route and can spot the progress on Rainbow Ridge:

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The load and unload station is still being worked on.

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Paint and surfaces are being applied to the new Rainbow Ridge facades.

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Over in Disney California Adventure, they are getting everything set for the Lone Ranger world premiere that will be happening on Saturday, June 22nd in the Hollwood section of the park.

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Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular has gone dark and will remain so until Sunday the 23rd when the cast gets its theater back from the Hollywood clan.  On the day of the event, guests will be diverted from the main entrance and funneled around the backside of Soarin, entering the park a lot like guests did during the park’s massive overhaul.

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Curtains and bleachers are being installed along the main route through Buena Vista Street and into Hollywood Land towards the Theater.

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The park will pretty much operate as normal during the first half of the day, with only the Five and Dime performances going dark on the 22nd. But the closer it gets to the premiere, the more sections of the park will close that day.  Expect the celebrity arrivals to start around 5pm, with Hollywood Land closing first.  Normal day guests will still be able to enjoy the rest of the park, outside of Hollywood Land, until normal park closing at 10pm.

While the Hollywood A-listers and assistants will be viewing the movie inside the Hyperion theater, we hear that the remainder of the guests, including those who donated $1,000 to be a part of the event, will be seated inside the Muppet Vision Theater for their screening.  The American Indian College Fund will be receiving the proceeds from the ticket sales.

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A Steam engine from the film is parked under the “Hollywood Studios” arches to lure guests in that direction.

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Yes, we see the hidden Mickey.

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Executives were seen fretting over the details of the big gala event.

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THE REVENGE OF DANCIN’ WITH DISNEY

What those executives should have been more concerned about was the return of the insipid Dancin’ with Disney area.  That Door Coaster just can’t come soon enough (if it’s coming at all).Yes, this “Attraction” is really just for little kids and that parents appreciate an air conditioned place to sit and relax . . . but . . . it still seems sub-par.   Thankfully there are plenty of other things to see in DCA these days.

Unlike last summer when folks didn’t even know this attraction was here, this time around, they’ve added colorful signage and even a yellow foot road leading right in.

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WHAT TO DO WITH TOMORROWLAND?

Former Imagineer, Jeff Kurtti, and Disney historian, Keith Gluck, chat about their ideas for fixing Tomorrowland in this excellent edition of Coffee with Kurtti on the MicePod. There are some great ideas here. They’d love to hear yours as well.

Direct Download   |   Subscribe on iTunes  |  Discuss Podcast

And that’s our update from the Disneyland Resort. Things mostly look great, the parks are ready for the 4th of July and attempts have been made to hide the awful safety railings in ToonTown. Is anyone planning to head to the Resort on Saturday for some celebrity watching at DCA?

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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39 Comments

Comments for Disneyland Resort Prepares To Roll Out Red Carpet For The Lone Ranger are now closed.

  1. I don’t remember much about DANCIN’ WITH DISNEY from last summer, but they have speakers playing the music on the OUTSIDE of the building, and I don’t remember noticing that last year.

  2. My grandmother’s sister’s boyfriend’s groundskeeper heard that they are secretly adding some slightly re-tooled Captain Jack Sparrow animatronics to Big Thunder Mountain. According to this highly trusted and reliable informant, they’re gonna give it the Tonto facepaint and duct tape a burnt Tiki Room Pierre to his head. Apparently, they’re going to pop up throughout the ride, making modern-day pop-culture references and continually reminding the riders to ‘stay in your seats’ and ‘please, no flash photography.’ I can’t wait!

    • LOL. That would fit the synergy mantra, but there’s no budget for animatronics in this redo.

      It does seem like Depp is at the very heart of Disney these days. But I suspect the Lone Ranger isn’t going to become the franchise pic they’d like.

      • I kinda think you’re right.

      • I think you’re right on with that thought Dusty,

        My first reaction after seeing the trailer was “meh” On the other hand all the Pirates movies are must see in theatre movies (so far at least) but I think I’ll wait till this one hits my On Demand menu at home.

      • What make you guys think this won’t become a big hit franchise?

    • If this would mean Jack Sparrow being removed from POTC, then I’d take it.

  3. Bro, You need to chill out. Dancin’ with Disney really isnt that bad. If you dont like it, dont go there. No need to talk about how the show is terrible, when its not even aimed at you. Those performers give it their all everyday. Id love to see you even give an ounce of the effort they put in.

    • I agree with him. It’s horrid. But it’s just there to fill the space for Summer. Like he said, kids seem to like it and parents appreciate the air conditioned place to sit. But that doesn’t mean he has to like it . . . and apparently, he doesn’t. ;-)

    • I suppose you are right, I mean, the show is not aimed at me. And yes, the performers do give it everything they have. But my problem with the whole thing isn’t the performers, far from it. My two problems are that I feel it is a terrible concept that skews way too young and that it is a total waste of space.

      • Like Disney Junior?

  4. We ventured into the Dancin’ with Disney building last year, and it didn’t go well. My autistic daughter froze in the middle of the floor, way over stimulated with loud noise, flashing lights and general chaos. But just across the street in the Animation building is the greatest show ever: the loop of Disney movie clips.

  5. As someone who is in the magic kingdom park weekly I can tell you that Starbucks didnt open to fan outrage. In fact it’s the complete opposite. Guest have been excited that they can get Starbucks in the park, only complaint is that they other parks don’t offer it yet. I don’t get why Disney fan sites feel the need to express there opinion as fact when almost the majority if the time it’s incorrect with the majority if Disney guests.

    • “Fan outrage” is an incorrect and irresponsible characterization. I wish you would do better to separate reporting from opinion.

      I for one welcome the new Main Street Bakery Starbucks with open arms. It is long overdue.

      • I, for one, welcome our new Starbucks overlords.

        (Well, someone had to say it….)

    • I’m sure that guests are fine with it. But many hardcore Disney fans have expressed disappointment or even outrage with the implementation of the Disney World Starbucks. Neither Norm nor myself have seen it yet, and aren’t offering our opinions (I’m not overly concerned by what I’ve seen). We just hope that the Disneyland version is of the same quality or better than what was there before the redo. Market House was a richly detailed space (Disneyana not so much). I DO think that the Disneyland version will be MUCH better than the WDW.

      But I do find it Interesting that many WDW fans can’t seem to handle the slightest amount of Disney criticism. That’s a real shame and a primary reason why the WDW parks are not maintained at the same high standard as Disneyland.

      • I don’t know, Dusty. The comment did seem to state it was not only an outrage, but an almost universal outrage:

        “However, the Main Street Bakery featuring Starbucks at the Magic Kingdom in Florida did open this week to fan outrage.”

        Clearly, it didn’t if most of the guests like the changes, including fans of TMK on this site who go there alot more than most DL fans.

        Gonna have to go with wdwfan22 and Abomibot on this one. It’s very well known that MiceAge has a DL favoritism, which is fine and is one of the reasons I read MiceAge. But just because the biased MiceAge review didn’t like the changes, doesn’t mean it applies to most guests and fans.

      • I would expect that the “outrage” came from people who are NOT addicted to Starbucks (like myself). Those who find that Starbucks coffee is more important than the theme aspects of the park will be fine and enthusiastic with the change.

        As a non-coffee fan, I feel the intrusion (taking such extensive control of a space that had been more casual and leisurely) is counter to the general Main Street experience.

      • The space will do fine. Have you seen the implementation at DCA? Starbucks does not take over the space. It is merely a drink that’s sold along side with Coca Cola, which no one seems to mind. Starbucks does have its own aethetic that is evident at its own stores, but that was not translated into the Disney theme parks. Of course, if it does get served in Tomorrowland, I would not mind if it gets its own store with a spaceage styled jazz fusion look with piped in contemporary music.

    • Fan outrage is a phenomenon I can’t find an explanation for. I think being pissed off about anything Disney does is a sport. I remember the overwhelming outrage over the Jolly Holiday Bakery and how it didn’t fit with Main Street. Let’s see…a Disney themed eatery…in a Disney park…that blends in with the look and era of Main Street…yeah, that’s just not right.

  6. We took a 15 min. break inside Dancing with Disney last fall and my girls had a blast. It’s not like it is taking away from any other attraction and it is easily avoidable being tucked away in the backlot between Muppets and Monsters. That being said, I wouldn’t be sad if they demolished Muppets, Monsters, and the building that holds Dancing with Disney and make a whole new area of the park – as long as it is not Monstropolis.

  7. I don’t get the uproar about Starbucks, Disney has used company endorsements from the beginning. The park wouldn’t have even been built if it wasn’t for them. Nestle’, folgers, Kodak,Monsanto the list goes on and on, so Starbuck’s today who knows tommorow. As long as the parks are in pristene condition, sip that coffee and go stand in line somewhere……..

    • I think nearly everyone understands that there have been sponsors from the very beginning, and some of them not a very good fit (the Wizard of Bras comes to mind). I think the concern is that the level of detail and theme be held to the same or better standard. We shall have to wait and see what they do. Hopefully better than the minimal effort on the WDW version.

  8. Seeing the train out on Buena Vista Street just shows how out of place the Lone Ranger Premiere is. Nothing about Hollywood street reminds me of the old west. Now Frontierland has the right ambiance, but the 1920′s to 1930′s California feel of DCA’s Hollywood street is just not right. This is really forcing the theme into DCA.

    • The flip-side is that you could argue that a movie premiere is right at home in Hollywood Land, regardless of the film genre, no?

    • If you’ve ever been to, or seen a Hollywood movie premiere taking place “in” Hollywood, you’d understand that they use props and theming from the movie for the premiere. I guess not everyone can “get it”.

    • It’s a Hollywood premier turned up to 11. It fits right in.

  9. Actually, I’m fine with the train there for now. Certainly not thematically correct, but these premieres are just what Cal Adventure needs to start developing some history. As for the coffee debate, I don’t drink coffee so I’ve got no dog in that fight. But I’ve lived on the east coast for the last 20 years and visit Disneyworld alot. Having grown up in California and visited Florida on a scouting trip in the 90′s we spent two days at the Magic Kingdom. While I’ve come to appreciate it now, those were two of the most boring days of my childhood. There was nothing to do there. My memories were of walking and walking and everyone asking where all the rides were. Let’s face it, the Magic Kingdom is a corporate “on the cheap” version of Disneyland meant to give East Coast visitors something to visit. That’s what it is. Disneyland is an actual celebrity unto itself due to the TV show in the 50′s and the Disney family living in So Cal so there are higher expectations for that park. Today’s corporations want to give you as little as possible so west coast folks are afraid that they will soon have the Magic Kingdom in California. And that’s a valid concern. That is where the west coast bias comes in and I feel it justified. That said, there is no doubt that this site does have west coast bias. In closing, Disneyland will most certainly do their Starbucks shop one better than the Magic Kingdom. But if you want to take your coffee into a Fort on Tom Sawyer’s Island you won’t be able to do that at Disneyland. But you can at the Magic Kingdom,,,,cuz they still have one!!!

  10. As a ballroom and Latin dancer, as well as a big Disney Theme park person, I have some issues with part of this post. As a long-time reader of Mice Chat, I appreciate all that is written, but, am continuously bothered by the biased (negative or positive) reporting done by folks. I do not have an issue with stating an opinion, but it seems like more of the articles now are trying to make us believe something. In regards to this post, it is Dancin’ with Disney. Is it the most fun place for the majority of Mice Age readers to go to- probably not. But, as some others have written, that is not the targeted audience. A few weeks back, before it returned, I was hoping to find it, just for the fun of it. While I was hanging out with a store cast member, a few different families came up also wishing it was there. Sure, this is not a good sample size, but folks remembered it from months ago. The “attraction” allows kids to run around, play with confetti, and, most importantly, hang out with characters for an extended period of time. There are no lines to wait in… you just go and dance/hang out with characters. This is an experience that, seemingly, is more rare today, and could be of great fun for the children. For the Disney fans out there, it enables you to see characters not normally roaming the park, such as ice cream store owner, Clarabelle Cow. In addition, as a dancer, I really want to find some people to there with me, so that we can dance in the corner (likely East Coast Swing or Cha Cha) so that we can say we were dancing at Disney (yes, other experiences available are more unique than inside a building).
    It is definitely not on the same scale, but I don’t ride Tower of Terror, so, should that be taken out? I also find Toy Story Mania boring, so, should I tell people it is stupid and to skip it?! (just to be clear, I am not saying they should take them out). Remember, Disney theme parks have to appeal to folks of all ages, so, there needs to be attractions for the wee little lads as well. But, ya, I do hope that area is redone.

    • Here I thought I was the only one that thought Toy Story Mania was just a video game.

      You wrote the following… ” The “attraction” allows kids to run around, play with confetti, and, most importantly, hang out with characters for an extended period of time. There are no lines to wait in… you just go and dance/hang out with characters. This is an experience that, seemingly, is more rare today, and could be of great fun for the children.”

      I will totally give you that. In fact, I would dare say that is one thing I appreciate about DWD. You get to see and interact with relatively rare Disney characters. That and the fact that it gives kids an outlet to fill the need to inexplicably collect confetti from the ground. lol.

      The concept is just so poorly executed and far too small for the space they have it in. You walk in and the dancing is at the far end of this huge barn-like facility that has more space than it knows what to do with. A fair share of the parents are usually lined along the outer rim of the space on the hard plastic chairs leftover from ElecTRONica, just watching, not involved. It all just feels so off.

      • The parents are all taking a much needed rest in an air conditioned room, Norm! :) I do wish there were more comfortable chairs though.

  11. I’m very, very sad to see the signs removed at the Cone Shop on Main Street. While it wasn’t open all the time, it was a great experience. It’s not just that it had short lines, it had a unique treat–my favorite treat at the parks. You could get a fresh-on-the-spot made “ice cream sandwich.” The great thing is that you could choose your ice cream flavor and it was sandwiched between two HUGE fresh-backed chocolate chip cookies. I know Gibson Girl has a sundae made with cookies–but those are much smaller. It really is a completely different treat.

    That little area off of Main Street was our hands down favorite “downtime” spot in the park. In the morning (around 10:30) as the crowds started to come in, we’d take a break and settle for the flavored coffee (which I personally much prefer to Starbucks) at one of the tables and watch the world go by. Around 3:00 or 4:00 we’d be back by and repeat with one of the fresh ice cream sandwiches; then around 8:00 or 9:00 we’d be back one more time for the “free refill” coffee. I was sad to lose my preferred coffee, but losing the Cone Shop is an even bigger blow.

    It’s small in the big scheme of things, but between this and the Matterhorn changes and increased crowds and prices….for us the experience is just not as special. :(

  12. Fan outrage? The only outrage is that it took Disney so darn long to get Starbucks into their parks in the first place! I go to FF&P cafe at least once a month, sometimes more, and I have yet to hear a single person upset that they’re getting good-tasting Starbucks coffee (yes, there are better coffees out there. I’m partial to illy myself but it’s awfully expensive) instead of horrible tasting Disney coffee. Everyone I’ve encountered, stood in line with, or overheard has been happy about it. My one big worry about the one at Disneyland is that I think it’s too small, and is going to have horrendous lines. I still can’t understand why they can’t make all coffee in the parks / hotels Starbuck’s rather then having to build an actual store.

    • Take a look at the FF&P, which is VERY well done with comfortable seating and a unique selection of food and baked goods. Then take a look at what they did on Main Street in Florida, seating removed and the exact Starbucks menu from any Starbucks in America. They are two VERY different implementations. Our question is which version will we see on Disneyland’s Main Street. Will it be another wonderful FF&P or more like the Magic Kingdom version?

      • Well, they are different, but at least for me, the differences are not a problem. I liked the pastries at Main Street Bakery, but I also like the pastries at Starbucks, so I’m fine with either one. And they had to take out the seating because of the the crowds (I’m actually surprised that there aren’t much bigger crowds at FF & P, I’m not sure if that’s because the Starbuck’s logo is too nondescript or what). Would you want very many tables inside the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor? Because I expect it will be more crowded then that. Lastly, the decor at the new Starbuck’s on Main Street at WDW looks very nice in the photos, and very much in line with some of the newer Main Street locations at DL, such as the Carnation Cafe.

        Just wondering, how many of the people who don’t like the new Starbucks at WDW are coffee drinkers? I definitely could be wrong, but to me I can’t imagine a coffee drinker not being absolutely thrilled to have actual good coffee at Disneyland.

  13. I’m happy Starbucks is at the Magic Kingdom. And for those of you saying you’re not coffee drinkers… Starbucks serves WAY more than just coffee. They have teas, blended drinks (some of their fraps are like milkshakes, especially the strawberries & cream one), smoothies and more. And I’m also a MEGA Disney nerd who is a stickler for details and noticing paint peeling more than I should. From what I’ve seen so far, the Starbucks at MK looks just fine. They added period appropriate photos and props to decorate the area. I’ll see it for myself one day next week and make final judgement then.

  14. The Coffee was dreadful in the Market. Who cares, the phones were the attraction. There were never enough cast members to keep the place open.

  15. Thanks for the update, especially the plant pictures, I love seeing the details of the garden beds the remarkable horticulturalists create. I love being inspired by the plants used and colours. Thanks!