Disneyland Red, White, and Blue

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

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Published on June 28, 2013 at 3:00 am with 21 Comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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Filling the rest of the room out are more display cases.  Paintings also adorn the walls.

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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.

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The bench display case has been relocated to the lobby of the opera house and showcases models from the Tiki Room.

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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.

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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.

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It’s reserved seating only for the Train Station. But, it’s also from a distance, which makes it difficult to see the Castle projections.

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.

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The closer to the Main Street Train Station, the better your chances of finding a spot on Main Street.

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Town Square is actually a pretty good spot.

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Patriotic bunting and banners line the street.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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’

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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.

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More scaffolding creeps up the side of Big Thunder.

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You can clearly see the progress being made here with the more vibrant orange rock in the foreground as opposed to the faded rock in the distance.

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Rainbow Ridge gained a hotel; the El Dorado Hotel to be exact. The surfaces and paint are now really coming into focus.

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For the time being, Fast Pass remains at this location.

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Not much else has gone on at the loading station.

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RAILINGS

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.

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There were still a few flags and ropes up, however.

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Along New Orleans Square’s roof top, work continues.

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Behind the castle, they have begun masking the safety railings there.

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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.

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Outside, the traditional cowboys and coon skin caps are on full display.

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Upon entering, we see the flagship display nicely laid out.

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Then we come to the new hats.

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.

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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.

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And you should see the collection of separate tags of warning and precautions that accompany this hat.

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.

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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.

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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?

 

 

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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  • brianpinsky

    Thanks Norm for another great update this week! Also you forgot to mention that they do a special projections for each firework show on small world so I would go see it there just to get the show and the projections to go along with it.

    • Marko50

      Second to last time I went, I didn’t think I could get from the first showing of Fantasmic to Main Street in time for the fireworks, so I tried the SMMall. It really is like a different show! I missed Dumbo and Tink, but I watched the show from the Hub last night and missed them then, too (trees).

  • Prometheus

    How are the crowds?

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      4th of July is always VERY busy. That’s why we are giving tips on where to watch the fireworks other than Main Street.

      The holiday rush kicks off today and lasts all the way through the Sunday after next.

      To add insult to injury, we are also experiencing a heat wave, with makes it a little bit more difficult to handle the crowds. Be sure to download our park waits and information app: MouseAddict

  • diskid

    Any word on if the Disney Gallery will have the open edition Shag merchandise starting today from this weekends event?!

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      Fishbulb will be at the Gallery upon park opening today and will update this article shortly thereafter. Check back in a bit. :-)

  • LoveStallion

    When I was a kid, my family and I used to go park at what is now a Sheraton across Ball behind the park. Hotels weren’t as anal about parking back then, and we would sit on the hood of our ca, and just enjoy the fireworks from the back. There was less in terms of low-level effects and music back then, so it was hard to feel like we were missing much. Great memories there.

  • PatMcDuck

    That dead bird hat is also sold in Disneystores, along side a child-sized role play costume. Great opportunity for a iPhone Facebook snap shot, apparently.

  • OrangeFlash

    A great place to watch fireworks is the roof of the Mickey and Friends parking structure. We’ve done it there accidentally twice!

  • daveinfontana

    A general response to LoveStallion .Back when I was a kid we parked at a flower shop at the corner of Harbor and Ball road behind the Beakins building .

  • Timekeeper

    Keep up the goodwork, I’m loving the photos. :)

    Timekeeper

  • bayouguy

    Plans for the 4th probably won’t include a visit to Disneyland. We’re planning to stay local. Disneyland looks ready and inviting though. One evening, as we were leaving the M&F, the fireworks began, and it seemed that we had a pretty good but brief views of the fireworks. We stopped for gas at the Chevron on the corner of Ball and Harbor and lo and behold, the fireworks view was pretty good.

  • MrsMonroe

    IMO i think the train should be put off the Big Thunder Trail

  • DobbysCloset

    Wonderful piece in time for the holidays, thanks.

    I don’t do much in the way of fireworks these days — dogs love barbeques but can do without the noise….

    When I was 10-11 (1966) we could see the fireworks from the second floor of our home…took it for granted, of course.

    Disneyana looks lovely.

  • martinjbell1986

    The Flying Carpet is back in the Alladin show!!! I must have missed the update on this but was pleasantly surprised when we went this last week.

    • CCS

      It is?? Good news. If there was a post, I missed it, too. I wonder how they satisfied the “Safety” powers-that-be that Flying Carpet is now safe. Could you detect anything yourself?

      • Marko50

        I’m here to tell ya! Saw the show yesterday (Thur). The carpet makes two showings, once with Jasmine and Ali, once with Genie. However, the prior showing was definitely *not* with the main stars as they showed up too soon on the main stage, almost before the carpet had docked. Couldn’t tell about the Genie, though.

  • Rongo

    Another great spot for fireworks watching is between Casey Jr and the Carrousel. You’ll get 360° of pyro around you!

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  • Mikeca

    Awesome photos! Gotta get a Tonto “hat”! LOL!