Disneyland celebrates Independence Week as Big Thunder Mountain continues refurbishment

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Buena Vista Street, Dateline Disneyland, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on July 08, 2013 at 5:05 am with 36 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • eicarr

    Man does that TIKI merchandise look good!!

    Glad the wait time is down for Luigi’s Tires. However, the 45min. wait for Midway Madness is still way to long for one of the most boring lines at the resort. I love that ride, but skip it most of the time due to its miserable line.

    Parks are looking wonderful, great report!

  • jcruise86

    Thanks for the update, Andy.

    Tickets for the Halloween Party go on sale for AP holders today. Here’s a link to a sloppy thread with a couple of numbers missing, but that might be a useful starting point for some of you.


  • danielz6

    Wow no hot food at a CAFE? Should change the name to Fiddler fifer and Practical 7/11 then.

    • Disneymike

      Yep, the cheapening continues…….

  • BestBeatingHeart

    Looks like someone got a new ND Filter… great shots.

  • Disneymike

    If Disney is getting rid of the hot sandwiches, it just shows that the cheapening continues….

  • WheresMickey

    Nice update!

  • Happiestcruiser

    I was a really big fan of the roast beef and cheddar sandwich. This cheapening of the experience really disturbs me. I know it takes longer to make a hot sandwich than it does to package a cold sandwich, but it makes it far more likely that I will cross the Esplanade, enter Disneyland and grab a much nicer (and hotter) bite to eat at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café! Almost $10 for a cold sandwich is crazy when — like Andy said — this is about the same price as the hot sandwiches were!

    I worry that enough people will “grab-n-go” these cold sandwiches — just because they are hungry and it is the easiest place in the area to get a bite to eat — that Disney will consider the change successful. Depressing!

    Thanks for the update Andy!

    • sjdimon

      But if Disney considers that the change is successful, then isn’t it likely that they will do the same thing at the Jolly Holiday Bakery? I sure hope not…but that seems to me that it follows the recent pattern of how things are done at the parks .

    • Marko50

      I was in the FF&P Cafe Tuesday. I went there for some dinner and found out about the changes. Big disappointment. Seems like I wasn’t alone in feeling that way – almost all the tables were empty. I meant to stop by the Chamber of Commerce to let them know of my feelings, but I forgot. I plan to make up for my forgetfulness this Tuesday.

  • bayouguy

    Loved the pictures, as always. Too bad about the test menu at Fiddler, Fifer, Practical Cafe. We really don’t want to grab and go, but would prefer to sit a relax during our meals, even if it meant standing in a line to order our food and drinks. We’ll wait patiently for the return of the regular menu items.

  • Disneylandfan85

    I just got back from a trip to Disneyland (Big Thunder being closed was a great disappointment to me, because it’s one of my most favorite rides). The highlight was the Mark Twain, because I was invited to go up inside the wheelhouse and man the craft! I blew the whistle and rang the bell and everything! It was fun!

  • Big D

    Question about FF&P, I never got anything there other then coffee, so did you get the sandwiches in a separate area from the coffee? If so, then this sucks, but if if it was the same line, then I think this is a great change and something they should have done from the beginning. Someone standing in line for their Starbucks doesn’t want to wait behind people ordering lunch, so the grab and go makes sense. There are plenty of other places in the park to eat, but only one place to get good coffee, so as long as it keeps the Starbucks line moving quickly, then I’m a fan.

    • Disneymike

      So, because someone needs a Starbucks means that people who want to eat a hot sandwich can go take a flying hike? I feel the complete opposite, if someone NEEDS a Starbucks, go hit one up on Harbor blvd.
      “Someone standing in line for their Starbucks doesn’t want to wait behind people ordering lunch”
      The same could be said for someone standing in line for lunch, we don’t want to wait behind someone ordering a coffee.

      • Big D

        But there are at least 15 different places at DCA you can go to in order to get lunch, and there is only one place at DCA you can go to in order to get half-way decent coffee.

      • Disneymike

        So? Should Starbucks junkies get preferential treatment over someone who wants a Salami Royale sandwich?

      • Big D

        [QUOTE]So? Should Starbucks junkies get preferential treatment over someone who wants a Salami Royale sandwich?[/QUOTE]

        Hi Disneymike, it wouldn’t let me reply directly to your quote, so I had to post this here instead:

        I would hope that Disney would offer those sandwiches somewhere else as they have done in the past when they closed down or modified a restaurant. I would be disappointed if a unique food offering were removed altogether specifically because of Starbucks even though I personally have never been interested in that particular food item. But honestly, I think that making sure that Starbucks orders have a separate area with separate lines is best for both groups. Someone who shows up for coffee at 11:30AM won’t get stuck behind a bunch of people ordering lunch, but conversely someone showing up at 2:30PM for lunch won’t get stuck behind a large group of people getting their afternoon coffee. I definitely want the food to be available, I just think that they need to be two totally separate things.

      • Big D

        Oh, I guess the reply worked out after all. Okay, ignore the first part then!

  • What a shame about the loss of the hot food at FF&P. The new Starbucks at the Magic Kingdom in Florida serves Starbucks items only. My guess is that they are trying to get us accustomed to the same thing here so they can do the same at Disneyland’s Main Street Starbucks when it opens later this year.

    I can go to a Starbucks on nearly every corner in America. While I don’t mind having one inside Disneyland (in fact, I’m looking forward to it) I would like it to be unique and offer more of a Disney quality experience. I REALLY hope they rethink the offerings.

  • SiRocket

    another unhappy customer due to the removal of the hot food items… wasted my time walking from one end of the park to the cafe…

  • ex-wdi

    Those albums are available on Google Play as well, sometimes for less money.

  • martinjbell1986

    Great Update!

  • Rick Wright

    I also think the Mark Twain trip on the Rivers of America is highly underrated. For me, it represents a trip back in time to the original Disneyland. Think of the many musical stars of the day that played on that ship, including Louis Armstrong!

    The fireworks photos are awesome, but my favorite is the GRR waterfall.

    Thanks Andy!

  • FarFromHome

    I don’t know how ‘official’ you’ll consider this, but:

    “Work continues behind that tall, wooden fence in Frontierland at Disneyland park, as the major refurbishment of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad nears its fall 2013 completion.”


  • SimbaSpot

    Disappointed at the change to grab n go sandwiches too… partly cuz I rarely choose Roast Beef or Turkey… but I guess Ham was probably not an option at the Pig Cafe, huh?

  • JulieMouse

    Great update, Andy! Also, I loved the absolutely beautiful fireworks photos! I also hate to see the “grab and go” menu at the FF&P…I would really like to see the menu expanded as it’s a great location to have lunch, but I guess I can give up on that thought!

  • Tinkbelle

    That is great that they are going to have live music at the Matterhorn! I wish they would do that often. I’m of Swiss descent and really appreciate it. I hope there will be video of this in next week’s update.

    It is awful that they discontinued the hot sandwiches at FFPC. We often got the roast beef and cheddar and sat down at a booth to enjoy it. Hopefully this is temporary and the hot sandwiches will return.

    Great update, Andy! You had a lot to share this week.

  • daveyjones

    can’t agree more about the mark twain. was just there last monday and rode up in the wheelhouse. be sure to request it from the loading CM on your next visit—you get to enter your name in the logbook and get a special “captain’s certificate” signed by walt! something that only club 33 members used to be able to do in years’ past.

  • Big D

    One of my favorite things to do is to ride the Mark Twain down the Rivers of America at night. I actually look forward now to the times when Fantasmic is closed and I have a chance to do this. I’ve always thought it was a really special experience that Disney should find a way to capitalize on. I love the part of the Disneyland After Dark DVD where they have Louis Armstrong performing on the Mark Twain and I wish there was a way to experience something like that (not Louis Armstrong of course, but the Disney house bands in New Orleans Square are all very good) today.

  • Disney Analyst

    Sounds like they are trying to make the Starbucks all follow the route of Magic Kingdoms, the line zips by at MK typically, and only includes grab and go fare.

  • renderman7

    its a real shame that amazon wont sell the digital music outside of america.. its digital for god sake..

    instead i am forced to buy second hand cd if i want it, and people want like 30 bucks for a song that amazon is selling for 3 bucks… sigh

  • QPerth

    Thanks for the great article Andy, some wonderful pictures too!

    It should be known, those truly awesome Disney Digital releases are perhaps only available to US residents. They are sadly not available for purchase on Amazon MP3 from Australia, and not a single one is available on our Aussie iTunes also. #cries

    Who can I email at Disney to ask them to please make these available out of the US? Anyone know a department or contact please?

  • DobbysCloset

    A lovely report but The Chihuahua wants it to be known that he’s totally disappointed with the new restaurant menu. At those prices for a cold sandwich he would rather scavenge under a popcorn cart.

  • Tiny Mermaid

    As someone who has gone to DCA specifically for a Salami Royale, I could not be more disappointed in this new grab-and-go menu. I really hope this new, weaker menu is reconsidered, or that the sandwich reappears elsewhere in the park. It was truly a step up in the quality and uniqueness department, and not just another bland cold cut sandwich typically served at the resort.

  • paratka

    Great firework’s pics! Dateline Disneyland photos are always excellent.

  • Awe_inspired

    Is there a way to buy those Tikis Pele and Uti and have them shipped to me?