In The Parks: Disneyland Prepares for D23 Weekend

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Features

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Published on August 09, 2013 at 4:00 am with 17 Comments

There is a huge buildup of anticipation for the big D23 convention among Disneyland cast and guests. The big event will take place just across the street from the park at the Anaheim convention center and will steal a bit of thunder from the Disneyland Resort.  If you are planning on coming to D23, we hope to see you at the MiceChat booth #513.  Let’s breeze through the park and catch up on a few things.

BIG THUNDER

Major resurfacing work has finally begun on the walkways outside the attraction.  This substantial rework has forced the closure of Big Thunder Trail until it is all finished up again.  It is wonderful to see them finally addressing this area in a thorough manner.

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The old trail has been ripped out and is being completely relaid.

 

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Everything on the outside is coming along nicely however and the queue is now receiving attention.  in particular the station structure itself is getting a nice overhaul too.

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TOMORROWLAND WORK

There appears to be some work happening over in Tomorroland at the restrooms near Autopia.

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STARBUCKS

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Nothing to report here. . . moving along . . .

WDI VISITING INDY

We are hearing word that WDI has been making frequent visits to Indy.  This has caused the attraction to open late on more than a few occasions.  From what we have heard, changes will be coming to the voices of Mara at the beginning of the attraction.  So the next time you see Indy temporarily closed, it could be a normal breakdown or it could be more tinkering.

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 RIVERS OF AMERICA

Have you ever noticed the second beaver at the dam on Rivers of America?  We just did!  There is one, just off to the right, munching on a tree.  But, if you keep an eye out you will see another beaver behind the dam resurfacing every so often.  What a nice touch (and something we are sure has been there for years that we never noticed before).

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Incidentally, they have trimmed the pampas grass surrounding the cougars along the river. It may look barren now but that stuff grows quickly.

 
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MICECHAT PODCAST

We have a brand new MiceChat Podcast for you this week. Dusty and Doug run down the latest Disney parks rumors and then turn to the Creative Director of Universal Studios Hollywood to pin down some rumors and information about what’s coming soon to that park.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

MiceChat Magic at the D23 Expo - August 9th – 11th

As if the D23 Expo didn’t have enough things for you to see and do, MiceChat will have a magical booth in the Collector’s Forum area of the D23 Expo this year as well. We invite you and your friends to meet with the amazing lineup of special guests and Disney legends whom we have scheduled throughout the three day show (Imagineering Legends Bob Gurr and Rolly Crump, Disney notables Nik Ranieri, Mark Silverman, Susan Egan, Margaret Tinkerbell Kerry, Carolyn Carroll, and surprise guests!)
Plus, meet MiceChat staff (Andy Castro, Fishbulb, Monorail Man, Sam Gennawey, Doug Barnes, Scarlett Stahl, Rixter, Mickey Maxx, Jeff Heimbuch, Gwendolyn Dreyer, Sarah the MiceChatter, Indiana Jenn, Mamabot, Dustysage and more). We will also be giving away lots of great prizes, including hotel stays and an iPad Mini!
Plus, we’d like to invite all of you to join us for a special cocktail party at the Anabella Hotel’s Tangerine Restaurant patio on the evening of Saturday, August 10th. The Anabella will be offering happy hour prices to us from 9pm until 1am. We’ll have some VERY special guests drop by, including Disney legend BOB GURR, buy him a Gurr-tini and let the stories flow!  SIGN UP FOR OUR EXPO INFO-GRAM AND A  CHANCE TO WIN

Thank you for reading!

That wraps up this week’s edition of In the Parks.  If you will be spending your time at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure, be prepared for increasing crowds towards the evenings as the main D23 programs let out. Note that the Saturday tickets for the Expo have completely sold out and Friday and Sunday aren’t far behind. If you don’t already have ticket, get them quickly.  We hope to see you there!  For those of you who were planning to visit the MiceChat noon meet at the central hub of Disneyland on Sunday, please note that our staff will be at the Expo and we won’t be in the park for the noon meet. But, swing by the MiceChat booth and noon on Sunday. We might just give away a big prize.  ;-)

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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17 Comments

Comments for In The Parks: Disneyland Prepares for D23 Weekend are now closed.

  1. I’m looking forward to your updates on the D23 Expo. I want all the details about Star Wars Land coming to Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios.

    • Don’t expect any big announcements like that. There is a teaser about the StarWars project for Disneyland. Look for the Orange Harvest crates with a droid sized cutout. ;-)

      There is also a desk filled with Avatar props and items. But very little that tells you anything about the land or attractions.

  2. A nice touch which would make the trains more fun is if the lights on Big Thunder Engine glow RED at night. Making the trains more eerie.

    A great update as always.

  3. Great update as always. I haven’t seen the park since January so I am going through withdrawal. I will at least get to see WDW in October when I race the TOT 10 miler.

  4. I’m glad to see they are painting the Big Thunder smoke stacks black once more instead of the grayish white they had gotten over 34 years. Some dark brown/black rust would be appropriate for them. Still need to change those gas station goose neck down lights back to Dietz inspector lanterns over the entrance sign as they were originally and still are at the Golden Horseshoe. I remember when they had the animal cages along the back trail walk, which I think became planters later. Hope they get the buckets animated in the Q line mine shaft tower which Steven Spielberg liked and used for his Indy movie.

  5. More than Mickey, nothing says “I’m in Fantasyland” to me, like seeing Pinocchio out and about. He’s so cute. So oldschool.

    • But it’s a good thing he can’t talk. Can’t trust that boy.

  6. Have you ever noticed the second beaver at the dam on Rivers of America?

    I’ve noticed him for at least 20 years, but he doesn’t always seem to be working/there?

  7. It’s more than just Mara’s voice they are updating :)

  8. All of the extensive work on BTM is awesome – which often fluctuates as my favorite ride at the park. Question… are they doing anything any different to the ride? Not track layout necessarily, but queue modifications, etc?

  9. Just saw one of the first updates at D23! It was entitled, “How Universal is Handing Us Our Butts”.
    They had a short video presentation showing what current Disney leadership had done with WDW in the LAST 3 YEARS. It showed rockwork at “New Fantasyland”, the second Dumbo ride enstalled next to the other Dumbo ride, more rockwork at “New Fantasyland”, new Starbucks, tearing out Snow White ride, some rockwork, Little Mermaid Ride (with less special effects than the 40 year old dark rides at Disneyland).
    Then they showed what Universal had done in the LAST 15 MONTHS; New Transformers Ride, New Despicable Me Ride, New Parade, New Nightime Watershow, New Hogwartz Train with state of art special effects simulating London to Hogwartz, New Themed Train Area at Islands side, New Potterland London at Uni, New Simpson’s Land.
    Then the presenters put on lanyards which had clearly displayed Universal Annual Passes, then placed sacks over their heads and quietly walked off the stage. We in the audience were all fairly shocked at their honesty.

    • I really really REALLY hope someone videotaped that. I would absolutely love to see that since I was unable to go myself.

      And I have to agree, Universal is doing stupendously well, and I hope they will be able to slap a reality check onto Disney when they begin to suck the tourists away from WDW.

    • Very clever response. You inspired my big smile for the day. Although I hate how honest it represents the truth.

    • (stunned)

      Did they really?

      Is Disneyland doomed to go the way of the beachfront carnivals it replaced? A nostalgic visit for us geezers who’ve grown old along with the park?

      • No, of course they didn’t.

    • I am still trying to find more information on this update with this very video presentation, but nothing is currently coming up. Any help guys?

      • Hi, I was just describing what should happen if Current Disney Leadership would present if they were going to be honest about how they compare with the folks at Universal right now.
        I should have added that the folks put on lanyards with Universal Annual Passes, sacks over their heads, and then were handed fake plastic rear ends by a guy in a Universal t shirt as they walked off the stage.
        I have been a huge Disney fan all my life. I’ve helped hundreds of friends and their friends and families plan Disney trips over the years, but no more.
        When Disney just opens stores, restaurants, and photo op areas to grab more money, then covers the area more rockwork and calls it New Fantasyland, will that insult shows their motives so clearly. When their creativity is to place a new Dumbo beside the old one and tear out Snow White for a Princess photo op to grab cash, it’s hard to ignore. When they computerize the Coke cups because some guest may get a sip extra that they shouldn’t have gotten, well, I’m over at Universal now where they are building 4-7 RIDES at the same time with 2 NEW LANDS for my family.
        It feels good to be appreciated.