We have a patriotic update for you today from the Disneyland Resort. As part of Limited Time Magic, July 4th has been spread across the full week. We offer our suggestions for fireworks viewing and more. Meanwhile, Big Thunder trudges through its refurbishment and the railings for Cast Member safety continue to be hidden and tastefully masked. We also share the new Lone Ranger park merchandise and we close with a salute to the 50 year-old Enchanted Tiki Room.
NEW DISNEYANA LOCATION
This morning, the Disney Gallery reopened today as the new Disneyana.
Inside the newly rearranged floorspace feels a lot like the Disneyana that closed a few months ago. Lots of wonderfully expensive stuff, all with a price tag. The entry room is pretty much the same. However, venturing into the first room, the one that connects to the lobby of the Opera House, they have removed the wooden bench display case that centered the room in favor of merchandise display cases.
Going further, into the second room, we see that the animator’s station has been moved to the center of the room, inviting guests to venture in and peek over his shoulder.
Filling the rest of the room out are more display cases. Paintings also adorn the walls.
They have also installed a new exhibit area in the lobby of the Opera House to commemorate the 50th birthday of the Enchanted Tiki Room.
The bench display case has been relocated to the lobby of the opera house and showcases models from the Tiki Room.
While in the park, you really should stop by the Tiki Room and say hello to Jose and the glee club. It is a marvel to think that Walt spearheaded this innovative attraction 50 years ago. Today, it can seem almost quaint. But it was the first real use of Audio Animatronics and it blew people away.
Incidentally, the Tiki Room was technically the first attraction at the park to have air conditioning. Pretty cool, eh?
The 4th of July
This year, the 4th of July will last all week long, thanks to Limited Time Magic. The traditional “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” show at Disneyland will be presented nightly from July 1-7 at 9:30pm.
Mickey Mouse will be out in Town Square in patriotic stars and stripes every evening on Main Street, U.S.A.. “Glow with the Show” Mouse Ears will add to the performances of “Celebrate America!”. It will be interesting to see if they enhance or distract from the show.
But where to watch the fireworks? Everyone tends to crowd Main Street, USA with its straight on view of the castle and its projections. But there are actually a number of other places throughout the park where it is just as entertaining to see the spectacular pyrotechnics.
In all honesty, you really can see a majority of the fireworks from anywhere in the park. They are HUGE. But for those who prefer a better than average view, there are still good alternatives to the overcrowded Main Street.
Small World Mall, the path leading to it’s a small world and Mickey’s Toontown, is a great place to see fireworks. Not only is the music and sound just as good in this area, you get a more intimate feel to the show since the display is being launched just on the other side of the Toontown facades. It’s an intense viewing experience with the fireworks nearly above you. It’s a very different and fun spot.
Another spot is along the Rivers of America. We think of this spot as the fireworks two-fer. In order to view from here, you should prepare ahead of time and find a place to view Fantasmic at 9:00pm. Following Fantasmic, simply stay seated and wait for the fireworks to begin about 5 minuts later. But, this strategy requires a little bit more prep, since getting a spot at the first showing of Fantasmic requires one to arrive up to three hours prior to showtime during busier seasons.
If you don’t care to see Fantasmic, lurk around in the streets of New Orleans Square near the end of the show and then move into a good standing room spot near the river as soon as Fantasmic ends. The fireworks will appear behind Big Thunder Mountain.
If you don’t have Disneyland tickets, but still want to see the show, there’s always the esplanade. You won’t be able to hear the music well, nor will you see much of the low-level pyrotechnics. But if this is something you can do without, you’ll still see a great show in the less crowded space between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Speaking of Disney California Adventure…
The patriotic pre-show to “World of Color” is returning for the same Limited Time Magic duration, July 1-7. This is a lovely, graceful alternative to the bombastic fireworks to the north. Some people prefer it. But, if you still want to catch the Disneyland fireworks from DCA, you can easily view them from the opposite side of Paradise Bay from World of Color viewing, near the Fun Wheel and Screamin’
We have listed some of our favorite spots to view the fireworks from, but what are yours? Do you have a special place in the park that offers a great view of the show?
BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN REFURBISHMENT
We have seen tremendous progress at Rainbow Ridge and the painting of the exterior rock work continues to progress as well.
Rainbow Ridge gained a hotel; the El Dorado Hotel to be exact. The surfaces and paint are now really coming into focus.
For the time being, Fast Pass remains at this location.
Not much else has gone on at the loading station.
We have noticed that the railings that we discussed a few weeks ago that were on top of the Golden Horseshoe have been tastefully masked. Again, when we see a blending of safety and showmanship, we are pleased. While we wish the railings weren’t necessary at all, the effort to mask them is a good thing.
Behind the castle, they have begun masking the safety railings there.
LONE RANGER MERCHANDISE
With the release of The Lone Ranger, merchandise has shown some restraint and thought to where items are being sold. This western themed line of toys and costumes is appropriately being sold in Frontierland. While most of it is actually very nice, it’s the new hat that is delivering the howls.
It has, since the first Pirates film, become a tradition to create an outlandish hat based on the most recent Johnny Depp character. First there were the dreadlocks from Jack Sparrow. Then came the Mad Hatter with his top hat and red hair. Now it’s Tonto and the dead bird hat.
For $29.99, you too can walk around the park with a dead crow on your head, complete with straight, black indian hair to keep the heat in on those hot summer days. Everything else in the merchandise line up is quite good. But this one…WOW.
LEFT HAND PLEASE!
Some new stickers appeared on the turn stiles exiting the park. Just a little reminder to hold out your LEFT hand when getting your hand stamp. No, your other left.
LONE RANGER TRAIN
In case you did not get a chance to see it, the Lone Ranger train was moved from inside Hollywood Pictures Backlot and put out by the Shuttle load and unload just to the east of the esplanade between the parks.
And there you have it! The 4th of July is nearly upon us. Be sure to check back on this column later today as we will have updated pictures from the Tiki Room exhibit.
What are your 4th of July plans? Do they involve Disney?