In The Parks returns to deliver the latest news and information from the Disneyland resort. This week, we take time to stop and smell the roses, literally. We’ll also share the progress on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the near completion of Rainbow Ridge. It’s a fragrant update today.
As the Summer months grind toward their conclusion in just about 4 weeks, we pause, not to find more things wrong at Splash Mountain and Indy, but rather to enjoy something we REALLY love at the Disneyland Resort. What In the Parks doesn’t catch, Andy Castro covers in Dateline Disneyland. However, when there is little new in regard to breaking news,we can take the time to ruminate on some of the other things we see every week. Today, the Captain and I would like to share one of the things that make a visit to the park interesting and fun for us.
DISNEYLAND GARDENS and SHADE
The plants and landscaping in Disneyland Park are, without question, some of the very best in any theme park on the planet. There are few other parks, here or abroad, that have at their disposal such a rich and creative horticulture department along with the money to bring such colorful designs to life.
Despite the train-wreck that was Tomorrowland ’98, the agrifuture approach to landscaping was a brilliant and inventive idea that is still used to this day. Every bit of foliage inside Tomorrowland is either edible, or produces edible fruit.
Back on Big Thunder Trail, the foliage transitions from Fantasyland’s Alpine look to a more Southwestern feel. You may not notice it directly, but it happens and you begin to feel you have moved into a different space and time.
In New Orleans Square, large trees create a canopy over much of the land.
A TYPICAL SUMMER DAY
Another thing that is among the best in the theme park industry is the live entertainment at Disneyland and DCA. Whether it’s running into characters walking around, the stage shows, or the parades, the parks offer stuff that is generally delightful for all ages.
Then there is Soundsational. This has to be one of our favorite parades in a long time. It is bright, fun, the music is catchy and upbeat, and it doesn’t have any show stops. It’s a real parade. We understand that a new nighttime parade is also in the works for Disneyland in time for the 60th anniversary and we are encouraged that it is rumored to be designed by the same guy who brought us Soundsational, Steve Davison.
Mickey and the Magical Map, while not perfect, is still far above the usual theme park show, as is the Aladdin show over at DCA.
There is plenty to love about the park. While we scoff at some of the maintenance issues (which we will check back on again soon), we feel equally compelled to point out the things we love.
We see here that things are pretty tightly wrapped up. And there appears to be a new wider door in the works. Perhaps they are expecting folks to enter Noah-style, two at a time.
NO MORE TONTO HATS
The crazy Johnny Depp Tonto hats are gone. You know the ones, they had the dead crow perched atop strands of hair and fabric. According to a cast member, after the first batch “sold out” they were not planning on getting any more in stock. Too bad, we love seeing people in hats they’d otherwise NEVER wear in public.
On to Disney California Adventure where there is very little to report on other than a second successful summer for this radically transformed park.
DANCING WITH DISNEY
The silly seasonal Dancin’ with Disney attraction has enjoyed the addition of new signage and ground graphics this summer (a big improvement over last year’s attempt). Has it brought any more people in to dance with the obscure characters? We don’t know. Would love to hear from those of you who have dropped in (or perhaps work there).
Again, the horticulture department shines here in enforcing the theme of the various lands. Some of our favorite examples are here.
Then, of course, there are the beautiful plantings that are rotated in Paradise Pier.
Tony Baxter Interview
The MicePod’s Season Pass Podcast has an AMAZING two part interview with beloved retired Imagineer, Tony Baxter. Have you listened to both parts yet? If not, you are missing something remarkable. There’s a reason why Tony is beloved and deeply missed by fans of the parks. . .
We’ll have a new podcast for you next week (it was recorded yesterday and is just about ready for posting). So, here’s a last chance to listen to our July broadcast. Find out why Bob Gurr is so excited to meet Ursula at the D23 Expo on this show! It’s really quite stunning and charming.
Thank you for reading!
Sometimes the news is good, sometimes it’s not so good. But it always comes from a place of love and respect for the little park that a father built for his daughters. This week, we were intoxicated by some things we think make Disneyland special. What are the little details that have you hooked on Disneyland?