Long Lost Friends return as Disneyland play tests new interactive fun in Frontierland

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

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Published on August 26, 2013 at 5:19 am with 47 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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  • Sifferz

    I was all excited for the Disneyland CD, because I figured there would finally be an official release of the World of Color recording.

    I am dissapointed, Disney. Also, no Haunted Mansion or Pirates is weird, though that doesn’t really matter to me because I have that 5 disc 50th anniversary set.

    • MWH1980

      I find that odd as well.

      When I went in 2012, I asked around, and was surprised that given how long World of Color had been out, there was no soundtrack released.

      I remember when my family went to Disneyland in 1995, they had the album of Fantasmic/Electrical Parade available at the Emporium, and we snatched that up right away.

    • holierthanthoutx

      What are you talking about? “Grim Grinning Ghosts” and “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” are both on the new Disneyland CD.

  • Rongo

    Oh, Hercules and Tarzan… come back soon, friends. 🙂

  • eicarr

    I thought the Blue Sky Celler was supposed to get visitors excited about making a return visit. Sketches of a new Starbucks and Hawaiian timeshares doesen’t do it for me.

  • I’m heartbroken. No more Court of Angels? That’s my favorite spot in the park.

    I guess I’ll start my letter writing campaign to Guest Relations. I encourage you all to do the same.

    • RodeToad

      I agree.

  • crmwed

    It is a real shame to see more and more places like the Court of Angles disappearing from the park. It is quiet places like these that keep the park from feeling mind-numbing when its crowded or hot.

    While fans can understand that not every single inch of a theme park needs to be revenue-generating, its a shame that the company running the place disagrees. It is little things like this that make me nervous about what Disneyland will be when I take my future grandkids.

  • CoreneD

    Thanks for the update! I’m wondering about your closure listed for the Big Thunder Ranch starting on Sept 3. You mention that the Jamboree area will also be closed above with the photos, and I’ve seen that mentioned on this site previously in other updates. But on Disneyland’s calendar page they only list the petting farm as being closed, and the same is true on their media web content refurb listing page: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/DTA-Domestic/pdf/D-MailPDF/IntlDmailDLRefurbishments.pdf
    I’m wondering if you guys are basing your info on previous years or if you have inside scoop… We’re arriving on the 2nd & I’m wondering if we should make sure we hit that area on the 2nd just in case… Any insight? Thanks again.

    • Wendygirl

      It will be closed. Billy Hill and the Hillbillies and Farley will be in rehearsals those days as the Jamboree is being set up for Halloween. I have inside scoop on this but I can’t tell you who told me 😉

  • 2puppies

    Every visit for my family includes a group picture on the stairs in the Court of Angels; I will miss this place and the opportunity to make many more family memories there.

  • LoveStallion

    Firstly – I noticed the Matterhorn had a delayed opening. Has it been having problems? I mean other than the stupid new bobsleds, of course.

    Big bummer about the Court of Angels. We should really write Guest Relations about this one. Sure, use it as an access point for Club 33, but don’t close it off in its entirety! It’s not like there are hordes of people queuing up for Club 33 and they need the space for crowd control.

  • Amanda949

    I don’t understand why they can’t keep the Court open and still have the Club 33 entrance accessible from there. Why close it? It’s not like there’s a large amount of people standing in line to get into Club 33, so visitors of the Court wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. This is just ridiculous.

    • You’re right. They could make this work. I hope they do.

      I’ve written to Guest Relations, telling them it’s a heartbreaking move if it’s true. I encourage all to do the same.

  • ExCandyMaker

    The girl with Tarzan is quite stunning…..

  • ExCandyMaker

    Sorry meant Hercules…

    • Jayce

      Heck yes Meg is 😀

    • Freddie Freelance

      They did a very good job there of picking the CM to portray Meg!

  • Sparky

    It will be a truly tragic loss if the Court of Angels is closed to regular guests. For me, it’s not just a quiet place or a nice photo spot, but, it’s vital part of what makes New Orleans Square New Orleans Square. If N.O.S. loses this area, it loses an important and beautiful part of it’s atmosphere and identity. I hope they stop to realize that. Whenever I’m in New Orleans Square, I always stop in the Court of Angels to take in it’s refreshing beauty.

    I’m extremely disappointed by the removal of the original menu from Fidler, Fifer Cafe. I loved the soups in particular, although I liked the sandwiches, too. Whenever I’m at the parks and am not hungry enough for a full meal, the tasty soups are just the ticket. And, the bread stick that came with the soups was quite tasty. If they don’t bring back the soups, I hope they at least will start serving Chicken Tortilla soup at Rancho Cucamonga. They had made great strides in providing lots of food options to chose from in the parks. Now, with the loss of these items as well as the ribs at Taste Pilots, it seems like things are swinging back the other way again. The more food choices there are, the more likely that I’ll eat in the parks when I’m there.

    • Marko50

      I mentioned it before: go to the Chamber of Commerce and complain.

  • Wendygirl

    I was at the Golden Horseshoe last Wednesday when they opened this interactive test experience. Apparently they are trying out different scenarios during this test time. It will be for 10 days (dark on Monday, today, and Tuesday). When I went it was the townspeople of Rainbow Ridge (the villains) vs. the townspeople of Frontierland (the heros). It was a no brainer for me to choose Frontierland because some of my favorite entertainers were on that side. It was a lot of fun and I really got into the role playing. Regarding the secret menu they have three light lemonade offerings – blackberry, wild berry or strawberry flavors added. Main dishes are the polish dog mentioned above, chili cheese fries with bacon, salsa and I don’t know what all on top, and a really good chicken salad (that’s what I had). Desserts were some kind of a float and a campfire sundae. I had the sundae which in my mind was more of a float. Chocolate syrup, root beer, vanilla ice cream topped with a mound of whipped cream, pieces of graham cracker, mini marshmallows and one large toasted marshmallow on top – think Smores. It was good!

  • TodAZ1

    The wigs for the male Disney characters are beyond horrible!! Especially John Smith! Good thing Hercules and Tarzan have other “attributes” that compensate. 🙂

    And, yeah, losing the Court of Angels permanently to Club 33 would be huge. It’s so frustrating when they people that own the best things don’t appreciate what they have.

    • Tinkbelle

      I was going to say the same thing about those wigs. Awful, awful, awful. In this day and age with the amazing wigs they have for movies etc. I don’t see any excuse for this.

  • Indy Hat Guy

    The good news is that I’m here in Cali so I can pick up the Disneyland CD but does anyone know the Merchandise Guest Services number for the Walt Disney World CD? (Also my friend got dragged into the play test and got a “Gold Nugget” and a Golden Horseshoe wooden nickel. Very much like the Adventureland play test at the D23 Expo as far as I can tell.)

  • MrTour

    I still don’t get all the Cal OSHA safety railings. MTA has NO safety railing on any train/subway platform. I wonder who has a better safety record, Disney or MTA?

    • Praisejesus

      I agree with you that Disney has probably a far more favorable record than the MTA. However, they are not willing to fight OSHA on this matter. Most everything is grandfathered in, until OSHA changes the rules again, and again, and again. Disney will once again make unnecessary changes as it bows to OSHA. Just wait until the new safety rails are installed for Tinker Bell. Can you see it now, fireworks behind the castle and Tinker Bell steps out and walks across the new and improved safe walkway. From the Matterhorn to Frontierland. Oh, what an impressive sight. Get a backbone Disney.

      • Freddie Freelance

        Hay-soos, have you forgotten the crippling fall off Space Mountain taken by that contractor? The months of interviews that OSHA had with CMs, contractors, and management about known safety issues with multiple rides & attractions? That Disney’s lawyers admitted management knew of the many safety issues with multiple rides & attractions?

        We’re not talking about arbitrary rules fiddling, or an inspector saying “put tape here” and the next inspector saying “why is there tape here?” We’re talking Safety Third, not Safety First; we’re talking “if this isn’t done right someone could die, and you’re not making sure that this is done right?”

        You mentioned the Tinkerbell Flight, saying that OSHA would turn that into a stroll across a safety-barriered

      • Freddie Freelance

        Gah, I hate trying to type on an iPad! I wasn’t done typing yet! And the auto-spellcheck is weird!

        Jesus, have you forgotten the crippling fall off Space Mountain taken by that contractor? The months of interviews that OSHA had with CMs, contractors, and management about known safety issues with multiple rides & attractions? That Disney’s lawyers admitted management knew of the many safety issues with multiple rides & attractions?

        We’re not talking about arbitrary rules fiddling, or an inspector saying “put tape here” and the next inspector saying “why is there tape here?” We’re talking Safety Third, not Safety First; we’re talking “if this isn’t done right someone could die, and you’re not making sure that this is done right?”

        You mentioned the Tinkerbell Flight, saying that OSHA would turn that into a stroll across a safety-barriered walkway, but the Tinkerbell Flight is an example of an attraction that OSHA [i]hasn’t[/i] found an issue with! You have an over-engineered primary link, redundant backups, and everything to do with the flight is triple-checked daily. The reason nothing has gone wrong with Tinkerbell’s Flight after nearly Thirty Years of nightly is the Safety First focus on the equipment, rigging, and set-up.

      • redrocker

        new safety rails for tinker bell??? dude you dont have a clue. PS safety does not have anything grandfathered anymore. its just taking so much time to get everything up to code or beyond OSHA code. Disney likes to go one step above.

      • The Lost Boy

        Tinkerbell originally rode a single zip line from the Matterhorn to Frontierland, two or three beefy Disneylanders would catch her with a mattress. The rigging safety factor was probably 5:1.

        Now there are five parallel cables. Two are probably trolly cables that allow Tinkerbell to fly in two directions. At least two of the other three are safety cables to catch her if the main (primary, you are correct, sir) cable system fails.

        The running lines are now probably designed to a 10:1 safety factor and are replaced before any appreciable wear occurs. This is because the dead loads, shock loads, and dynamic loads are much greater than the live load. The static, back-up safety cables are probably still at a 5:1 safety factor. I’m sure the system is tested and inspected every day it’s used by the park, and regularly by OSHA.

        While it is possible, in theory, that Disney could seek some sort of redress or remedy against OSHA, the costs involved both monetary and publicity wise would be prohibitive.

  • sixalex

    Ummm…The Book Rest?

    This is the first I have heard of this new place?

    Any details?

    Yes, sad and stupid to make the Court of Angels exclusive to a very few guests.

    Great pix as always and thank you!

  • whamo

    It’s bad enough we lost the Gallery to the Disney Suite, but to lose the Angels courtyard to the 1% as well is a big downer. I did like the respect they showed to the old coffee shop. You win some, you lose some.

  • davidrusk

    You are so right about Court of Angels. My wife and I have great memories of fun encounters with characters there. I have a photo of my wife dancing with Brer Bear in the Court of Angels. I hope they don’t make it off limits to the everyday guest (without whom the park would close!).

    • davidrusk

      By everyday I mean those of us who are not special to Disney in anyway. Just part of the crowd.

  • SpectroMan

    I noticed the Book Rest sign doesn’t have lights like the Disneyana one did. 😐

  • ralzap

    Court of Angels going away would be a shame. N.O. Square is something WDW does not have. It sets the park apart from it’s Florida twin. The court is a great detail. WDW does have a better Frontierland, but that is for the dueling Disney folks.

    Great update and Pictures!!!!

  • Haven

    I also could not support the idea of closing Court of Miracles to the public. This already happened once in New Orleans with the loss of the Disney Gallery and Walt’s apartment to the paying guests eyes. I would hate to see it happen again to a scene that really entangles you in the authentic New Orleans feel of coming across this nice courtyard tucked away. I remember visiting the real New Orleans in 2001 and discovering a courtyard off of Royal St. and commenting how fun it was to discover it, just like Disneyland! Please, if you must move the Club 33 entrance in there, fine, but don’t eliminate the courtyard from browsing guests.

    On the lost friend characters, I do admire the accuracy of Meg from Hercules. She is one of the more convincing Megs I have seen. I wonder how it works if you want to bring back an old “face” character that isn’t currently in rotation? I see Hercules, Meg, John Smith & Pocahontas & Tarzan all there. I wonder if they play anyone else?

  • Tinkbelle

    Don’t take away Court of Angels, Disney! It is one of the most special corners of the park.

    I’m also sad that they’ve removed the benches from Magnolia park. I loved to sit there and watch the fountain with the Haunted Mansion backdrop while listening to the New Orleans jazz coming from the French Market. Now the benches are gone 🙁 .

    Thanks for the update, Andy.

  • orbitalpunk

    Well said about Court of Angles

    • DobbysCloset

      Does this typo deserve a sharp retort?

      • sixalex

        Don’t be obtuse.

  • ttintagel

    Oh, man, I’d love to see them open up the Diamond Horseshoe back East here for some of those activities. I hates to see the old gal sitting empty and unused so much of the time.

  • DobbysCloset

    Quick thanks to whoever it was, you or Mara, who heard our plea for more Tarzan shots. I officially switch my favorite spot in DL from Court of Angels to Tarzan’s Treehouse, or at least the mother-in-law studio out back.

  • Anaheimhomeboy

    Did you miss it!? Bravo to Miceage for the mention of blogger Dave Koenig.
    I really enjoy the direction this site has taken lately. Class all the way.

  • vnormth

    Chill on Court Des Angles. There’s already an entrance at the top of the steps (far right when you view the balcony) so they’ll just have a CM at the bottom, just like they do in front of 1901, which bothers no one. The Ornament shop will close though because they need to add an ADA-compliant elevator, which Club 33 currently doesn’t have,

  • Barbossa

    Long lost friends? Rarely seen characters? Unused character costumes? How come Miley Cyrus wasn’t there?

    • Marko50

      Did you miss the VMA’s?

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