Disneyland and Disney California Adventure survived the 4th of July holiday mega-week and came out just fine. The lighter than normal crowds were helped, in part, by annual passholder block-out dates, and made for a far more relaxed atmosphere and more navigable walkways. Let’s not forget that there is plenty to see on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment and more issues with Splash Mountain figures. We also give our brief thoughts on the the Salute to 58 Years of Magic event that was held at the park this past Tuesday. And don’t forget that Wednesday is Disneyland’s birthday!
Disneyland Park – A Salute to 58 Years of Magic
Disneyland celebrated its 58th anniversary this past Tuesday with special presentations by Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin. The event, held inside the Main Street Opera House, was for Annual Passholders only and wrist band registration was required for a seat.
The house was full and all of the fans eagerly awaited the beginning of the presentation. Then, just before Stacia took the stage, a request was made that there would be no photography of any kind during the presentation. The previous week’s event did not have this restriction, but this was a change to the program that we were happy to comply with. Still, it did not help us in conveying just how good the presentation actually was.
Focusing on Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, Stacia warmly guided the crowd through a collection of rare imagery and audio from the opening days of these two original lands. One of our favorite clips was from the opening day of Disneyland in which an atomic chain reaction was demonstrated with the use of mousetraps and ping pong balls. There was even a theme song for Tomorrowland. Very sci-fi with lots of theremin.
There will be one more presentation like this that will focus on Main Street U.S.A. It will be held on July 16, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. : Main Street, U.S.A. & Disneyland in 1955. Passholders may begin registration at 12:00 noon at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House in Disneyland. Registration must be completed in person at the Main Street, U.S.A. Opera House on the day of the event only.
If you have the chance, go try to get a seat at one of the two performances. It’s a wonderful look at Disneyland park history.
While popping into Toontown to check on the peeling hill behind Minnie’s house, (yes, still peeling), we noticed something.
BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN
Big Thunder Mountain is still surrounded by construction walls. It will be like this for some time to come still. We are seeing more scaffolding creep up the outer surfaces of the rock work as exterior repainting continues.
Rainbow Ridge looks wonderful as the town gets ever closer to completion.
We also see that track work is still being refined as the ties are still being placed into the coaster track.
SPLASH MOUNTAIN PROBLEMS…AGAIN
This was a story we have been sitting on for a while in the hopes that it would fix itself. Sadly, we really need to draw attention to some maintenance issues. In the final big scene of the ride, at the Steamboat covered in animatronic figures, the entire top row of dancing birds was stationary, not moving at all. We understand that problems arise in a theme park. You can’t shut an entire ride down simply because three figures among 50 are not functioning. However, these are noticeable props in the ride which have been broken for weeks.
Aside from the broken figures, there were more issues inside.
Starting off, the ride looks just fine. It’s when you get into the show scenes that things go downhill, pun intended. In the scene below, Brer Bear used to bob up and down.
He is currently stationary. Not bobbing up and down and no movement at all on the figure. Not a deal breaker as it still conveys the story. But would be great if he was moving as designed. Okay moving on.
Glancing above at the opossum family we see that they are all motionless. Funny in a way really, but again, not something that the passive guest would notice.
Next we see that our troubled Brer Rabbit figure on the track above the flume is not functioning properly. Yes, the figure is moving, but the cart he is supposed to be propelling along the track to be “moving on” is still.
Thankfully everything in the Laughing Place was working properly. Even the water spouts were jumping and spurting. The next opossum family and the rabbit family, even the vultures before the lift hill were all functioning just right.
After the drop, and back into the big finale show scene, things took a bad turn for the worse. Rounding the corner we see that the Raccoon figure is playing solo while his Raccoon friend who should be there playing the harmonica is out for repairs. Next,
Next, the big focal point of the scene featured not three, but 5 total motionless figures. The steamboat that should be teetering back and forth was still, and four of it’s figures stood, mouths agape, frozen, while the music they were supposed to have been singing played on.
Running a living, breathing, interactive environment like DIsneyland is a huge undertaking. We applaud the work that the front line cast members, the maintenance crews, and even management all do to make this place as magical as it is.
But, if the Disney company wants to demand premium pricing for it’s theme parks, hotels and other experiences we feel that there should be premium upkeep. This situation with the three figures on the steamboat has lasted for at least the past three weeks. Three weeks of a less than perfect conclusion to a ride, despite everyone paying full price to get in. We understand things can’t just shut down because of a few features on a ride not operating. But with this many issues, and with the prices being commanded, it is something that should have been addressed sooner. Do you agree?
MANSION FASTPASS WORK
There is some landscaping work being taken care of near the seasonal Haunted Mansion Fastpass machines. Nothing major, but still worth a mention.
MEANWHILE IN DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
The park continues to look wonderful and operate with polish and finesse.
MORE TO EXPLORE
We have two fascinating podcasts for your today. The MiceChat Podcast is seeing record downloads for it’s latest show featuring Ursula the Sea Witch and Bob Gurr. It’s not to be missed.
Next up is a behind the scenes look at the making of Cars Land. The show is loaded with imagineers and designers responsible for DCA 2.0.
That should just about do it for In the Parks from the Disneyland Resort this week.