Disneyland resort has moved into the off-season between New Years and Spring Break. This is a rare opportunity for you to enjoy the resort without oppressive crowds (mostly), but you’ll also find it without quite a few attractions as refurbs take advantage of the lower crowd levels. Big Thunder Mountain is nearly ready to return after over a year of refurbishment, but numerous closures and refurbs are underway or planned throughout the parks, including Alice in Wonderland, Haunted Mansion Holiday, it’s a small world, and of course the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

Plus, we have some VERY exciting announcements at the end of this update that you won’t want to miss! So please be sure to read all the way through.  🙂

The frost is receding and the holiday cheer is rapidly leaving the resort.

Primrose planted in the peripheral planters of Town Square foreshadow spring.
As of Tuesday the tree was still up.
Here we see the Horse-drawn carriage and City Hall behind it removed of Holiday decor.


Disney Showcase was immediately switched over to a generic non-holiday theme, with the window displays taking the lead.


No Christmas here.


Here’s a particularly cute display.

Flood of Maintenance

The new year also brings a flood of maintenance projects throughout the park.  Work crews can be seen nearly everywhere making touch-ups to spots around the park.








Big Thunder Mountain

As we learned from the most recent MiceAge update, Big Thunder Mountain is well on its way to soft openings by the end of January and cast member testing as early as January 15th. In fact, Disney has the ride scheduled open to the public on Saturday, February 1st.  This is no guarantee, mind you.  But the ride is being tested non-stop now and the walls around the attraction could soon disappear.















Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage lagoon is in the process of being walled up for its long winter nap.



As it currently stands the subs are being closed as a cost-cutting measure by the resort until things are more financially clear up in Burbank.  It is the single most expensive attraction to maintain and operate and the money saved, just having the attraction closed, will actually be tremendous. It also allows more time for final decisions to be made on the Disneyland Star Wars projects, as the Subs and Autopia sit where expansion will take place.


The lagoon will soon be drained and the subs mothballed.











Sailing Ship Columbia

The Sailing Ship Columbia is currently down for refurbishment and is scheduled to return on Friday, February 14th. While the ship is down, Fantasmic takes a break as well.






Haunted Mansion

Jack Skellington is now vacating the Haunted Mansion.  The classic dark ride is supposed to return on Saturday, January 18th.  That is a rather quick turn around for such an elaborate overlay to be removed.  No real changes are expected upon its return.



Refurbs coming

Another major refurbishment is finally happening at Alice in Wonderland.  The exterior portion of the ride will receive a permanent solution and we wait eagerly to see how it turns out.  If you want to ride the attraction in its current form you have until Sunday February 2nd to see it.  The attraction will be closed beginning February 3rd with no return date set.


it’s a small world holiday

Another holiday overlay needs to be removed too.  But it has to wait a bit with so many other attractions currently closed.  it’s a small world holiday will close beginning Tuesday January 21st, with a return set for February 8th.


Club 33

New Orleans Square is shrouded in scaffolds and Trompe-l’œil coverings as the private Club 33 above gets an overhaul.  Thankfully, this is planned to only last until June and everything will soon be back to normal.



Just opposite the old club doorway, the tunnel leading to the Crystal shop is being reinforced.
Above is a lookalike screen of what was there before.
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
Peeking up into the scaffolds, little can be seen.


Over near the perfume shop and Cafe Orleans, a new bridge is in the works. This bridge will allow servers to bring food from the club kitchens into the new private Jazz Club.
New Orleans Square is a rather tight labyrinth of construction walls at the moment.


Near the New Orleans Train Station, we look back towards the construction.


Back on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure the Holidays are being removed quickly too.  But, throughout the week, the window displays were still playing catch-up.



No more holidays for you!
Oh the irony. The one window they restored first is the one we all hate. We really hoped they’d use the holiday break to come up with something new and a little more inspired.


Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is now closed for refurbishment and will be through February 20th.


Soarin’ Over California

As the recent MiceAge Update mentioned, Soarin over California will be closing for refurbishment on Tuesday. February 18th.  They will be upgrading the projectors to 4k, High definition along with giving the entire attraction a major refurbishment.  Eventually, the attraction will get the new HD Soarin’ Over the World film, which is being prepared for Shanghai Disneyland.






Apparently the ride apparatus and even the smells will be refurbished and upgraded.


That includes a totally new, hi-def ready screen and sound system,.


If you want to get your ride in, do it before February 18th.

No More Navidad

Alas, ¡Viva Navidad! has gone.  But the good news is that the insanely delicious greek inspired food has returned to the Garden Grill.

Dusty likes the Lemon Oregano Chicken with Chimichurri sauce and I like the Spicy Meatball with Chili Sauce. There’s something for every taste here.






And that just about wraps things up for this week.  We will work tirelessly to keep you up-to-date on the latest information regarding refurbishments in this unusually difficult time of financial shuffling, entertainment cutbacks and complex scheduling.


DON’T MISS OUT: MiceChat Anniversary
February 7th through 9th – at the Disneyland Resort! 

Add your name to the email list below for first notification of tickets and detailed information for these great events.

FRIDAY February 7th

An Evening with Walt Disney – Friday Evening, February 7th

Join the folks at the Save Walt Disney’s Birthplace project as we explore what it was like in 1901 when Walt was born and what Walt’s early years in Chicago would have been like. The event will be filled with very special guests, presentations, dinner, drinks, meet and greets and even an opportunity to bid on some unique items with all proceeds going to support the wonderful project to save the home Walt Disney was born in. Space is strictly limited to 70 guests.  This is a SPECIAL TICKETED EVENT


Building the Dream: The Development of Disneyland Paris – February 8th


Celebrated Imagineer Tim Delaney will lead us on a journey through the building of the most beautiful Magic Kingdom of them all, Disneyland Paris. Learn about the challenges, creative opportunities, and wonderful stories that make this park so unique in the universe of Disney theme parks.  This will be a breakfast event at the ESPN Zone (bacon, bacon, bacon) with a 90 minute audio/visual presentation and an opportunity to meet a true creative genius. Event is limited to 125 guests and will sell out quickly. SPECIAL TICKETED EVENT

DCA MiceQuest – 3pm


Put your Disney skills to the test as Fishbulb presents one of his famous eye spy/scavenger hunt events. This is a two hour event which will be free to enter (you’ll just need park admission). There will be fun prizes sponsored by Fairy Godmother Travel and this is always a great way to meet fellow MicePals and have a great time in the park.

Communicore Weekly Musical Meet-up – 6:30pm

Meet Jeff Heimbuch and learn more about the epic Communicore Weekly Musical project. This event will be presented in the same location as the Game Show. Two great events, one great location.

Monorail Man’s Extra Limited Time Magical Game Show – 7pm

The game show has become a MiceChat anniversary tradition. Why? Because Monorail Man isn’t just a Disney nerd but a game show nerd as well. And what excuse do we need to have a good time and win prizes? The show lasts for about an hour and prizes will be given throughout.

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 9th – MiceChat/MiceAge Classic Sunday in Disneyland 

Breakfast at the Riverbelle Terrace, a grand circle tour of Disneyland aboard the Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain trip around the Rivers of America, MiceChat noon meet with prize giveaway, group photo, lunch with friends, “Practically Perfect Tour,” farewell meet with grand prize giveaway. It’s a MiceChat tradition that’s not to be missed. All are welcome to join us for as much or as little of this day of magic as they’d like.

All events, except for the Evening with Walt Disney and the Breakfast with Tim Delaney are free (you just need theme park admission).  Add your email address below to be notified the moment tickets become available for the special ticketed events and to receive the final event schedule with dates/times/locations of all of the above listed activities and more!


  • BradyNBradleysMom

    I wonder when we will know if the subs are really gone for good. Will they start removing things? Or will they let everything rot in place.

    I bet at some point the lie will be that while prepping for a remodel they discovered some kind of structural problems that could not be fixed. I know the lagoon had been leaking water into the ground for years. Maybe they could use that as an excuse. Say that it was an environmental problem that had to be fixed and the subs area just could not be repaired.

    • They will leave everything exactly as it is until they have a final approval on Star Wars and construction is ready to start. If Star Wars is cancelled or delayed by a year or more, then the Subs could reopen for the 60th if there’s budget to operate them. Aside from the subs being in the way of Tomorrowland expansion, they are also an operational nightmare (leaking lagoon, expensive, slow loading, maintenance problems). So even if Star Wars expansion doesn’t start soon, the Subs will very well likely remain closed.

      • TacAlert

        On Thursday at the park, the 3 birds were still on top of the red floating thing (don’t know what to call it). On Friday, today, they were gone.

        The Columbia is completely covered in scaffolding now, as compared to the picture above.

    • angle

      It’s unfortunate that the whole sub shutdown is being done in a “sneaky” way, but even in fairly small organizations, there’s a tremendous amount of internal infighting for money and resources. The tactics being used here are a very typical corporate (or governmental) way to insure that the money that’s earmarked for the subs doesn’t get taken away from the DLP budget. No matter how substantial you may think the park’s profits are, DLP is still a very small cog in the Disney Empire.

      If the sub ride is as much of a money sink as is being alleged, that will be a tremendous pool to draw from in order to fund refurbishments and new attractions… not to mention the fact that it takes up a fair amount of land in a park that has very little room to expand.

    • tooncity

      Dusty, the thing that bothers me about he Subs closing, is the loss of kinetics. All the movement is just gone. Except for the monorail, of course, but that’s not consistent. It really was fun just to see the Subs moving around the lagoon. It just feel the area has loss so much. The whole area was based on movement.
      Motorboats, Subs, Monorail, People Mover, Carousel of Progress, Rocket Jets, Autotpia,

      Disney Corporate just doesn’t value these attractions beyond budgets. People love to go to the park for these intangibles that don’t show up on a ledger. Or any other park. Yet, they are all gone or will be gone.

      • Larry Parker

        The lake the subs move thru makes the Matterhorn more scenic as well. But accountants greedily occupied with $$ and not park quality will cut every corner possible to make more $$. In my view, petty and sickening…and this kind of greedy mindset was in large measure responsible for out entire county’s recent financial meltdown.

  • Park Hopper

    Great pictures. I always look forward to your updates.

  • bamato

    I find it almost eerie to see the sub lagoon so still. It surprises me that TDA decided not to keep the water effects going, as anyone riding the monorail will the the show building entrance/exit plain as day now.

    • The lagoon has approval to be drained. So they don’t need to run the pumps for the waterfalls as it will all soon be exposed anyway.

  • Susan Hughes

    I’m glad to hear Soarin Over California is finally entering the 21st century and getting rid of those scratched up, dust ridden film projectors. A big screen like the one used for Mickey and The Magical Map will be so much better.
    I’m also glad to hear that the Autopias may be going away too. I know it’s a favorite of guests, but those smelly, gas powered old cars are certainly not part of a “Tomorrow” theme. Let’s get this Star Wars Party started!!!

    • Even Bob Gurr, who created them, has famously told Imagineering that it’s time for the 50’s technology Autopia to go. Of course, that leaves an opportunity for Cars Land to add a similar electric version of the attraction if they decide to go that route. I have a feeling momentum for that option will pick up steam for the expansion pad East of Luigi’s and South of Bugs Land. It just makes too much sense not to do at some point.

      • Bob Gurr

        Autopia cars in Cars Land? Oh, now that’s just too logical.

    • Larry Parker

      Another option besides Autopias’s closure would be to use cars of the future along the lines of Tesla.

  • Barbaraann

    Thanks for including information about the Anniversary Weekend. Even though I won’t be able to attend the event this year, I do like keeping “in the know” about the specifics. I do find it odd that these announcements are not being posted in the MiceChat Forums, as they have been in the past.

    • The announcement will be added to the forums, but I was working on the text at midnight before going to bed and then turned it over to Fishbulb for images. So I’ll take some version of this and post to the forums and send out in an email today 😉

  • DannyeF

    Thanks for the update! I love being able to keep up with the parks while we are at home. But I have to say, we don’t all hate the circus window. I didn’t like the older stuff, but the way they have it now is adorable. Tigger!!

  • LoveStallion

    I tell ya, there are few things I enjoy as much as a quiet Disneyland, even with some attractions closed for refurbishment. The park is just magical when it is peaceful and feels more like, well, a park.

  • Enjoy this moment in time folks. Once Christmas is fully packed away, you will see Disneyland as it is intended to look with no holiday or marketing decorations. That’s a rare thing these days. Lowered crowds and classic Disneyland = time to make a trip to the parks!

    • M69

      Will do! 🙂

    • Coasterfan

      That’s the plan! Be there Feb 20th.

  • MonkeyDishwasher

    The tree was down as of Wednesday.

  • GrumpSkellington

    How long is the estimated refurb for soarin?

  • lightofdarkness

    “Jack Skellington is now vacating the Haunted Mansion. The classic dark ride is supposed to return on Saturday, January 17th.”

    One of three things happened here:
    1. You made a typo and meant: Friday, January 17th, or Saturday, January 18th.
    2. Disney made a typo and meant: Friday, January 17th, or Saturday, January 18th.
    3. This is the longest tear down for Christmas EVER and it really is Saturday the 17th, which is a full year away!


    • Norman Gidney

      lol Got it. Thanks!

  • bayouguy

    We had a rather good time this past Wednesday. No fireworks, no Fantasmic, well controlled crowd conditions. It was ol’ fashion Disneyland. I think it’s time to stop the fireworks stoppage, as it creates an insane crowd condition and takes away from the enjoyment of Fantasyland attractions.

    • themur

      I can only imagine the AP outrage if they stopped the fireworks in favor of operating Fantasyland attractions!

    • TacAlert

      I noticed the same thing Thursday night. No fireworks. No Fantasmic. Nice and quiet. Even got to take the Mark Twain at night which was nice.

      Leaving tonight at 7:30, the big crowds were coming into the park. We joke that it is the same people who come to see the fireworks all the time for the same show.

  • sdawn99

    Thanks for the great update. We are eagerly awaiting our trip in a couple weeks… we only get to venture to Disneyland every couple years… 🙂

  • mtn335

    We’ll be there 1/19 to 1/25…if there ARE soft opens for BTMRR, how would we know about it? We’d love to ride it if possible!

    • Download MiceChat’s Mouse Addict in-park iphone app. It’s free. If a ride soft opens while you are in the park, we’ll push a notification out to you.

      Unfortunately, Disney attempts to keep soft openings very closely guarded to avoid a mad rush of fans swarming an attraction (which causes all sorts of operational issues and creates disappointment when the ride is suddenly closed so the Imagineers can keep working or fix something). Still, there is a very good chance that MiceChat will have some sort of heads up we can post to our front page (always read the Editors Note). We are just very reluctant to do so too early as multiple times in the past Disney has decided at the last minute to cancel a soft opening specifically because we posted about it ahead of time.

      • mtn335

        Understood and makes sense – thank you!

        One more question – is there an android app also? I won’t have an iOS device with me… 🙂

  • amyuilani

    I wonder if, when they drain the lagoon, they’ll cover it with a giant tarp that looks like the water the way they do with the buildings.

    • parkfreak

      ^^^ 😀 ^^^

  • Lakerfan3224

    Will the Hatbox Ghost be back in Haunted Mansion now that the holiday season is over?

    • Wouldn’t that be great?! We’ve been waiting on his return for so many years now (they’ve almost installed him on numerous occasions), that we’ve just given up on it until we hear that they are finally ready to do it. Not sure what the hold up is. But he would be a great little addition to the Disneyland 60th Anniversary. 😉

  • Mousing Around

    What’s the best time to visit Disneyland in the next month or two or three in regards to the most attractions being opened (not in refurb or overlay change-over!)?

    • February will be a good month. Small World and Haunted Mansion will both be back in regular mode and Big Thunder will have reopened. Crowds are usually at their lowest during this period as well. However, there are a few weekends which still get a bit more crowded due to conventions and school schedules.

      Here are some things that will impact the parks in Jan/Feb:

      Martin Luther King Day (Jan 20) will impact the parks on Jan 18-20 as many school children and government workers have that Monday off.
      Tinker Bell Half Marathon (Saturday the 18th of January) can also significantly increase crowds in the park. Though, it doesn’t always impact ride queues as many of the folks in the park are tired from running a race and really just come into the park to eat, people watch and show off their beautiful medals.
      The NAMM convention (Jan 23-26) can also pack the parks .
      President’s Day weekend (Feb 15-17) will be busy.

  • dizneydomenic

    I dunno…I like the idea and dislike the idea of a star wars overlay with multiple attractions at same time. Does everything HAVE to be associated with a movie? Tomorrowland was built almost entirely non movie based and continued that way for years…kinda made it special. Skyway/People mover, Autopia, Space Mountain, Carousel of Progress, Inner Space, Subs…… Now its all movie based…where’s the imagination of what the future may hold? Stars Wars has its spot in one attraction… i think it’s kinda a disservice to do multiple attractions…def not in Tomorrowland….maybe its own land somewhere else….either California adventure or a third gate.

    • mondo

      IMO.Third gate is the best place and should have been the only option for DL. Star Wars attractions will be limited in TL. In the third gate it would have no restriction in themeing and space.

    • Bob Gurr

      A Tomorrowland NOT based on a movie? Better wait until November – you’ll see a Tomorrowland movie, then what? Subs have had their more than a half century, kids like smart phone life – car driving not so much anymore. Why not a real living Tomorrow where there’s all kinds of cool future stuff to play with, beautiful too, with lots of living trees, plants, and flowers. Oops…sounds too much like an AvatarStarsLand. I’d be the first to spend my days in that kind of future.

      • mondo

        Bob Gurr- What is coming out in November?

  • martinjbell1986

    Our passes expire in a month so one more trip for us! Hopefully Feb 1st is an accurate date for BTMRR to open. We’ll let our DL passes lapse for a while so we can save up for Disney World late this year.

  • jjmaneja

    Is there any news about WoC and when that returns, and whether or not they will change the show to accommodate the new effects?

  • pvcoasterguy

    It should be noted that this will *not* be an HD upgrade for Soarin’.

    4K projectors are lower resolution than film projectors, especially IMAX 70mm film projectors. Hopefully they find a good system, because projecting digitally on a dome with enough brightness has long been a challenge.

    The conversion will clean up some of the film grain and dust (which could have been done just as easily with properly maintained prints), but I’m wary of the effects of this conversion on brightness and resolution for that huge screen.

    • TifaOnACloud

      Finally nice to see someone else aware of the massive downgrade Soarin’ is actually going to receive. I swear, people think just adding the words “digital” or “HD” is automatically an improvement and it saddens me that it’s constantly labeled an “upgrade”. HD is far less resolution than true IMAX indeed, and I will dearly miss the last vestige of film in the parks (or anywhere for that matter). It’ll be cleaner, true, but it’s not nearly as bad as suggested and could have been easily avoided with proper handling. At least it’s 4K, probably a faux LieMAX set up like at the average AMC.

      At least I got three more rides in last Decemeber of the slightly worn, but warm and analog Soarin’.

    • TifaOnACloud

      Finally nice to see someone else aware of the massive downgrade Soarin’ is actually going to receive. I swear, people think just adding the words “digital” or “HD” is automatically an improvement and it saddens me that it’s constantly labeled an “upgrade”. HD is far less resolution than true IMAX indeed, and I will dearly miss the last vestige of film in the parks (or anywhere for that matter). It’ll be cleaner, true, but it’s not nearly as bad as suggested and could have been easily avoided with proper handling. At least it’s 4K, probably a faux LieMAX set up like at the average AMC.

      At least I got three more rides in last December of the slightly worn, but warm and analog Soarin’.

      • Country Bear

        I was wondering the same thing about the Imax upgrade. Assuming they go with the patented Imax system again, I understand that the frame size of the digital Imax is slightly “squarer” and not quite as wide as the film Imax. If this is still true, then there could be some really unhappy people who get stuck in the perimeter seats on either side of the screen. I know how awful the view is with the current system if you get seated in the bottom left or right of the screen. If that view is even further degraded then there will be strong feedback I suspect.

        It’s also possible they are upgrading to an OmniMax digital projection system. This is more of a 180 degree “bubble” screen and that would likely give full coverage for all seats. I’m not sure if OmniMax is available in a digital format as yet.

        Third possibility is that they are going with a new system entirely (there are a couple of Imax knock-off’s out there that could do the job). Not certain of the success of these systems in a conversion. I think SeaWorld used a system like this in their Turtle Trek adventure in Orlando.

        I guess we’ll know the answers in a few months.

  • weaselwrangler

    Do we know when Soarin’ is scheduled to reopen?

  • mondo

    I believed the original Submarines Voyage was very expensive too. Did Disney thought Nemo Subs were going to be different? Why bring back an expensive ride and then later close it for the same reason?

    “The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage lagoon is in the process of being walled up for its long winter nap” So does this mean it will wake up= it may reopen? But didn’t the first article said it was a permanent closure.

  • Pingback: Disneyland Can Breathe Again | Everything TravelsEverything Travels()

  • sean317

    Thanks for the great update guys! FYI though, due to “technical difficulties”, Alice in Wonderland, Soarin’ Over California & It’s A Small World will be closing early!

  • gibbage

    I for one wont miss the subs or Autopia. The space those two rides take up alone can make an entire new land!!! Sure Autopia is a classic, but even Walt said that nostalgia is better left for museums. The Subs are way too expensive for there ridership, and Autopia just makes noise and fumes. Good riddance.

  • scarymouse

    Agreed, good bye Subs and Autopia! Throw up the walls and start the construction. They have managed to make New orleans Square pretty decent, I’m sure they can do the same for Tomorrowland or Starwarsland. Great pics as always. One last thought I was thinking that someones relative high up in the D organization has a kid in design school or something ….therefore that ugly Display…..just throwing it out there…

  • Sleepy505

    Great Update, I Agree as well, Autopia and the Subs do take up a lot of space my family and I travel every year from New Mexico and by far those two rides don’t even come to mind when we visit, but another Star Wars attraction 🙁 I feel that better thoughts in imagineering need to take place especially in a place called tomorrowland. I’m really enjoying the fact that finally a well deserved upgrade is coming to Soarin Over California is at hand it puts a smile on my face because my last visit you can see all the damage on the screen and the air scent smell didn’t seem like if it didn’t work, good job Disneyland

  • mickEblu

    I don’t mind the subs or autopia going but to take out both and innoventions for one attraction might not be such a great idea. I think they could fit 2 E tickets in that amount of space.

  • danielz6

    Move autopia to Carsland, bring the Tron lightcycle coaster to tomorrowland(with an educational computer science pavillion), add Western river expedition to big thunder ranch. Save star wars, marvel and Jules verne to anchor the third gate. Subs can then be put into third gate themed to twenty thousand leagues or aquaman or Naboo.
    So happy to see the delicious Greek food permanently in PDG! Dusty wow, the idea of pitting auopia in the backstage area between cars/bugs/ and TOT was an idea I had years ago! Its really cool to read you mentioning it.

    • Marko50

      Pretty sure Disney doesn’t have the rights to Aquaman. And if the subs lose that much money, why would they put them back into the third gate?

  • billyjobobb

    I could have been there in the park on the last day for the subs, have known it was the last day, and I still would likely not have found the time to ride them. Now, had they been closing the Jungle Cruise and had it just been rumored that it might not come back, well, my butt would have been on a plane!

    I really hope they lose the subs but keep the lagoon. The balance of the water and the mountain was awesome.

  • DobbysCloset

    I am looking forward to photos of the Mysteries Under The Water once the lagoon is drained.

    Is it at all possible that the Lagoon belongs to Fantasyland and not to Tomorrowland?

  • Scarlet Spanky

    Removing the subs/lagoon will not make the area any more attractive. They’ve really got to do something overall to fix up Tommorrowland – it’s a mess. OLD Peoplemover tracks, congestion … STROLLERLAND.

  • Country Bear

    Tomorrowland really has had all of its kinetic energy drained from it. It used to be so exciting to go into this area because there was so much movement and activity. The only things that will move now are the monorail, Autopia and occasionally that satellite dish thing where the Rocket Jets used to be.
    I think the standard view of the future is that things will move faster, so hopefully Disney keeps that in mind as they redesign this area.

  • patton45

    Lots of mixed feelings on this. Can’t remember last time I rode the subs. The long lines and slow loading usually made us pick another ride.

    Taking out the subs and Autopia would free up an amazing amount of land for TL. I love the cars but I see that Star Wars could really rule TL if its done right. But TL has been a confusing mess for a long, long time. I personally think a more Jules Verne stylized future so things would never go out of date, as TL often did over the years.

    Crossing my fingers !