In The Parks Holiday Edition: What Are We Thankful For

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Features


Published on November 29, 2013 at 3:00 am with 12 Comments

It was a rather busy week at the Disneyland Resort.  The holidays are in full swing with hoards of guests clogging the parks, but it was also business as usual for a resort accustomed to the big holiday rush. There is still a bit of news for us to share and a lot of beautiful photos of the parks. Mickey and the Magical Map enjoyed some adjustment recently, Big Thunder is load testing the trains, and there are some little projects along the Rivers of America as well. We’d also like to show you what we are thankful for at the Disneyland Resort.


We have some great news for you. MiceChat partner, Anabella Hotel, is offering a special holiday contest. Simply complete the form below and you’ll be entered to win one of three great prizes.

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Mickey and the Magical Map

Subtle changes were made to Mickey and the Magical Map that are actually quite nice.  Of note is the long-needed addition of Stitch to the Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride number.


The song and choreography are virtually unchanged.  But now Stitch enters through the magical map screen and slowly works his way down to the dancers. The lack of characters in this number was one of our early complaints about the show and we are thrilled to see the number enhanced as it was clearly appreciated by the cheering crowd.



Acting as impish mischief maker, he plops himself into the center of the little dancing duel.



The final dance pose is punctuated with Stitch center stage as he should have been all along.


Later on in the show Mickey arrives for the final song in full-fledged map maker attire.  This makes perfect sense since, at the end of the show (spoiler alert) Mickey is no longer an apprentice.  Hence, he should not be in the apprentice outfit.



It’s very encouraging to see the forces behind the show willing to alter, tool, or update the performance to see what fits. Nice work by the entertainment department.

XBOX One in Innoventions

The walls inside Innoventions have come down around the Xbox exhibit.  The area now features the XBOX One.



It’s a big hangout spot for folks that want to play video games, just like the last exhibit.




A flat screen on the wall attempts to tie Walt and the Disney Company into the whole thing by talking about innovation.


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Over at Big Thunder Mountain testing continues.  The trains have regularly been cycled through with water jugs in place of guests.








Rivers Of America

Along the Rivers of America some maintenance is occurring.  Nothing major, but certainly notable.



The little boy and his dog are back stage right now being refurbished.



The access path along the backside of the river is being cleaned up too.


Dumbo still patchy

Let’s hope that Dumbo’s sorry look will be touched up soon.  The ornamentation is still patchy with primer.



With the recent news from the MiceAge article this past week, there are now a number of projects up in the air.  One that seems to have been outright cancelled is Mostropolis in the corner of Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure.




What would you put here if you had your way?


Speaking of Hollywood Land, has anyone else noticed that it’s still spring?




Flik’s Fliers

The child spinner ride has returned to the skies.  However things are a bit unfinished.




Still one carriage is out of service.


What We Are Thankful For

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things that we are appreciative of.  We decided to take a moment to talk about a few things that we are thankful for at the Disneyland Resort.  A lot of times it the little things that go taken for granted.

The Cast Members working crowd control


As guests to the Disneyland Resort, we are allowed to check our brain at the door and wander around in zombie mode.  But it’s the cast members that have to manage the heaving masses of criss-crossing humanity that have to funnel it all. Especially between Fantasmic and Main Street Fireworks on busy holiday nights. On top of that, they have to do it all with a smile.  Thanks you guys.  We appreciate you.

High Capacity Rides


Even on the busiest of days these rides keep you moving without ever feeling like you are stuck in place.  The crowds could be overflowing, but Pirates, Mansion, Mermaid, it’s a small world, all take it in stride.  Thanks for a big show for a large amount of people.

Ducks in the park


Yes, the ducks.  Who doesn’t have fond memories of throwing popcorn to the ducks in the water?  Or who can hold a smile back when a mother duck is walking her ducklings through the park?  It’s fun to see real wildlife wandering around (we could say the same thing about the cats).

The Remaining Quiet Spots in the Park


Big Thunder Trail to the West of Big Thunder Mountain is a beautiful and tranquil spot.


There are some wonderful out of the way spots in the parks which we adore. Big Thunder Trail, the back woods feeling of the Hungry Bear, Tom Sawyer Island, Fantasia Gardens, Magnolia Gardens (near the Haunted Mansion), Splash Mountain bypass trail (behind the Harbor House)  are all great spots to get away from it all.

Big Top Toys New Window

A Christmas miracle occurred when the holidays rolled into Disney California Adventure.  The nasty window at Big Top Toys was changed over for Christmas to feature an animated Santa Claus going over his list. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for removing the intelligent pile of stuffed toy!


Starbucks in the Park

If it weren’t for the coffee giant finally making it into the park, we would still be sipping he swill that had a monopoly in the parks. Thank you for the Starbucks locations in the parks.



There’s a lot we are thankful for, great nighttime spectaculars, a revived California Adventure, improved food service in the parks, aggressive refurbishment schedules which keep the park looking like new . . .

What are you thankful for at the Disneyland resort?


We’d like to invite you to join us as MiceChat rents out an entire performance of Fruitcake Follies on December 21st. It’s one of our favorite holiday events. So much so, that we now have our very own performance. The entire show takes place at the wonderful Casita Del Campo in beautiful Silverlake. It’s the most holiday fun you’ll have in the basement of a Mexican restaurant all year! 

The follies is a one-of-a-kind holiday musical review that is Part Perry Como Christmas special, part Carol Burnett Show, part Pee Wee’s Playhouse and all holiday cheer.  Former Disneyland cast members will be among the cast to help jingle the bells.  Come along for a festive good time.

And that wraps up our holiday edition of In The Parks. While there was some bad news this week about future projects, there is still a lot to be thankful for.  So, for now, appreciate the good, hope for the best and have an amazing Thanksgiving day weekend.  Thanks for reading and we will see you In The Parks!

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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  • Malin

    I’d personally like to see them finish the Paradise Pier area of DCA and then move on to Hollywood Land. In my opinion the Pier area was left unfinished after the recent placemaking project. Goofy’s Sky School needs to go straight away.

  • Algernon

    I’ve always hated Innovations. Why pay all that money to go there, when you can go to Best Buy and see the same thing for free? Bring back an updated Carrousel of Progress, with virtual reality, hypersonic airliners, vacations on the moon, nano-bots in the blood that kill disease, people living to be a thousand, a cure for old age, a pill that causes weight loss.

    • sinatra12

      This is exactly what i’ve thought every time I go into innoventions. Best buy at least updates their displays frequently

  • jcruise86

    ^^ I too miss the Carousel of Progress, though I think a new version could take place at hotel rooms at the Disneyland Resort, with the last room in 2084 or 2055. Or the hosts could be Tony Stark and his father. The latter could be a disaster if written by stupid, unfunny people.

    And get a new Peoplemover
    or remove the depressing, abandoned tracks Peoplemover tracks ASAP.

    And remove the entrance rocks and move the Astro-Orbiter back and up so that makes rather than blocks the view.

    THANKS for the nice update, Norm! Your attention to details shows that no one appreciates Disneyland more than you do.

  • Morgan Richardson

    Although I’m not the biggest fan of relying on existing IP to develop park attractions, Monstropolis seems like a great Idea. Guests would have loved it. I would have loved it. I hope that those blueprints get dusted off some day!

  • Mark Wilkinson

    Well since Stitch is my least favorite Disney charactor I’m not so thankful for his appearance – anywhere. I wish he’d just go away. 

    I too was interested in Monstropolis. I know a lot of people didn’t like the idea because they thought it did not fit into the Hollywood theme but that just showed me how unimagivative people can be. Like the whole backlot theme ever worked in the first place. I say scrap the backlot concept and build Monstropolis with the door coaster as proposed. It would be a big draw. Then build a new grand Hollywood (not Dwtn LA) type entrance and proper lobby of Hollywood  Theatre where the outdoor waiting area is and convert the remaining old Hollywood section into “Disney Bros. Studios” – replacing the lame fake Hollywood facades with fake facades you would actually see on a real Hollywood backlot- meaning someplace other than Hollywood- like generic Big City USA or European street.  The facades could change according to whatever movie Disney is promoting at the time. The  turn much of animation building into a land version of the Animator’s Palette restaurant that’s found on Disney Cruises.  For more of Hollywood theme build a new Sunset Boulevard where Bugs Land is now. That would improve circulation and the environment for ToT.  

    Finally, once Door Coaster is built replace the Goofy Sky School/Corn Dog Castle with a pavilion in a classic boardwalk style with shops and a nice second story restaurant and lounge overlooking Paradise Pier. I’d repaint the part of Grand Californian that faces Paradise Pier to match the lighter colored Paradise Pier/Boardwalk and tie in both the GC and PP hotels directly to the park through this pavilion. 

  • martinjbell1986

    Thankful that there was Frozen merchandise in the parks as soon as the movie came out. Tangled stuff was scarce even when the movie had been out for a while.

  • martinjbell1986

    LOVED Frozen by the way….

  • Country Bear

    Great update Norm, thanks.

    I’m thankful for all you wonderful people at MiceChat! You make every day worth logging onto the computer to see what’s new in the theme park world. I appreciate it greatly.

    Thanks again!

  • AvidTurtleTalker

    I’m thankful for the monthly payment system, otherwise I wouldn’t have a pass. As for Hollywoodland, I think they should theme that corner of the park to Roger Rabbit. Turn the arcade into the Ink and Paint Club and turn Monsters into a trackless Roger Rabbits Car Toon Spin (allowing the ride in Toontown to close, or maybe even all of Toontown).

  • sean317

    Why does Disneyland spend all this money creating a project that will never happen? That seems like a waste of money to me.

  • danielz6

    Makin, the jellyfish kiddie ride needs to go as well. Completely does not fit the theme of 1920s seaside pier. I don’t know how that survived DCAs reboot when maliboomer didn’t.