In The Parks – Chinese New Year and Disneyland Resort Update

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disneyland Resort, In the Parks

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Published on January 31, 2014 at 3:00 am with 20 Comments

It’s time to say goodbye to January and hello the Chinese New Year this week at the Disneyland Resort.  The Year of the Horse bringing all sorts of multi-cultural fun to Disney California Adventure. If you’ll be visiting California Adventure January 31st through February 2nd, you’re in luck. We also have some exciting news regarding The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. We’ll also soak in the delights of the off-season and take in the wonderful signs of spring in both parks. And, of course, we’ll examine the aggressive refurbishment projects that are going on in Disneyland.

Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!  The year of the horse begins today at Disney California Adventure in the Paradise Garden area of Paradise Pier.  The Year of the Horse will be marked by a Chinese dragon dance troupe, with lion dancers and Vietnamese and Korean dance groups joined by Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Mulan and Mushu,  The celebrations will happen from now until Sunday, February 2nd from 11am-5pm each day.


We took the photos below on Thursday. While you can see some of the decorations, the actual festival hadn’t started yet. You’ll be able to see what the festival looked like in full swing in Monday’s Dateline Disneyland.


IMG_6552 IMG_6553


Around DCA

The beauty of low off-season crowds continues and is joined by the sprinkling of spring blooms which really adds a wonderful touch to the park.  We also share a bit of news here and there along the way.




New rose bushes have been planted in the entry courtyard.


Cyclamen sits in the flowerbeds near the Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe


We are also extremely happy to see the wonderful citizens of Buena Vista Street remain in the park. They are a WONDERFUL touch and we really hope they remain for the long haul.





Minnie says, “Bring my show back, PLEASE!”


Spot the wildlife.


Ahh Spring in Cars Land. It’s tail light season.


Spring is popping up in Paradise Pier too.



  • Mickey’s Fun Wheel: Closed February 3-6 for refurbishment.
  • Soarin’ Over California: Closed February 18-June 5, 2014 for refurbishment to add HD projectors, replace the screens and make some general improvements to the attraction.



  • Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular: Dark January 21-February 20, 2014.
  • Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train: Closed March 3-6, 2014.


  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Closed January 6 through February 27, 2014.



Of note is that the entrance into Disney California Adventure from the Grand Californian Hotel is closed for refurbishment.



The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

As mentioned in the Editor’s Note yesterday, the refurbishment for The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure has been approved. Thankfully, Burbank is beginning to loosen purse strings for Anaheim.  This means that DCA’s Mermaid refurb is currently slated for seven weeks of down time from late March to early May in order to fix a laundry list of cosmetic, lighting and scenery issues throughout the ride.



Will we see this animation changed yet again?





We are hoping the Fishmobiles will be upgraded.


Will Ariel get another new hairdo?


Amazing MiceChat Anniversary Weekend – February 7-9th, 2014 – Disneyland Resort


Don’t miss out on the big MiceChat anniversary weekend February 7th – 9th.  Every day is packed with fun activities, meets, events and games.  Meet Disney Legends, take a trip back to Walt Disney’s birthplace and help us save it.  Click here to learn more about all of the activities we have planned for you!

Friday, February 7th

An Evening with Walt Disney


We Need YOUR Support - ALL Proceeds from your ticket will go toward saving the home Walt Disney was born in!!!

Journey back with us to the year 1901. William McKinley was President of the United States, Major League Baseball had just been formed, and a man named Walt Disney was born in a small house in Chicago Illinois. The modest family home on the corner of Tripp Avenue and Palmer Street was designed and built by Flora and Elias Disney, Walt and Roy Disney’s mother and father. Both Walt and Roy were born in this home and lived there until Walt was four and Roy was twelve years old.

Join the folks at the Save Walt Disney’s Birthplace project as we explore Walt’s early history and discover how we can preserve the home where he was born! We guarantee you’ll be wowed and entertained and leave satisfied that you are doing something very important.

This very special event will include

  • Dinner buffet at the Anabella Hotel’s award winning Tangerine restaurant
  • An audio/visual presentation on Walt Disney and his boyhood home by theme park design company, Super 78.
  • A chance to rub elbows with the creative minds behind the Save Walt Disney’s Birthplace Project, Dina Benadon and Brent Young!
  • 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.
  • Special guests: Bob Gurr (Disney Legend and original Imagineer) & David Price (Son of Disney Legend Buzz Price)
  • ALL Proceeds from your ticket will go toward saving the home Walt Disney was born in! 

Space is strictly limited to 70 guests for this FABULOUS event.

Saturday, February 8th

Building The Dream – The Magic of Disneyland Paris


Celebrated Imagineer, Tim Delaney, will lead a fascinating presentation about 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.

Tim Delaney’s 34 years at Walt Disney Imagineering included 19 years as a creative director and Vice President of Design. He has been instrumental in all phases of design from initial concept through design development, corporate sponsorship, project production and onsite construction supervision through completion. As a designer, illustrator, painter, creative director, producer and art director, Delaney has lead teams that have designed and constructed over $1.2 billion of Disney Parks and attractions worldwide, including Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Hong Kong.Tim has been awarded the 2002 Ray Bradbury Award for Lifetime of Creative Excellence. He was the subject of the popular BBC documentary ”Shoot the Moon.” And, in, 1995 he was awarded the Themed Entertainment Association award for best attraction for Space Mountain at Disneyland Paris.

Tim will sign copies of Disneyland Paris From Sketch To Reality (copies of this beautiful book are available at a VERY special price for this event only)

Tickets for this event are nearly sold out. Secure your spot today!

DCA MiceQuest – 3pm


Put your Disney skills to the test as Fishbulb presents one of his famous eye spy/scavenger hunt events. This two hour event 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. REGISTER FOR THE DCA MICEQUEST HERE

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. SIGN UP FOR INFO HERE

Monorail Man’s EXTRA Limited Time Magic 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.  SIGN UP FOR INFO HERE


MiceChat/MiceAge Classic Sunday in Disneyland


Breakfast at the Riverbelle Terrace, a grand circle tour of Disneyland aboard the Disneyland RailroadMark Twain trip around the Rivers of America, MiceChat noon meet with prize giveaway, group photo, lunch with friends, D23 Fanniversary Scavenger Hunt, “Practically Perfect Tour,” farewell meetwithgrand 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 when the final event schedule with dates/times/locations of all of the above listed activities is available. SIGN UP FOR INFO HERE


For the third year in a row D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will hit the road with their Disney Fanniversary Celebration, visiting cities across the U.S. to commemorate dozens of magical Disney milestones celebrating landmark anniversaries this year. In honor of the event, which will kick off this fall, we have designed a game including some of the iconic attractions and films that are (or were) represented inside Disneyland Park. You will have to be fast on your feet and quick with your wits as you race to reach the finish line in time to win the grand prize. JOIN THE D23 FANNIVERSARY SCAVENGER HUNT HERE

If you plan in coming to the parks for the MiceChat Anniversary events, our Friends at Anabella Hotel are offering a spectacular rate just for you!

  • $99 standard rate – Use rate code MCAnniversary when booking
  • $114 rate includes room upgrade and $25 food and beverage credit at Tangerine restaurant – Use rate code MCAnniversaryPlus when booking this offer
  • Call to book your reservation now! 800.863.4888

Essential Listening – MiceChat Podcast #14

On this episode, we share our favorite and biggest theme park moments of 2013 and our predictions for 2014 and beyond. What will be our biggest story of 2013? Will it be the bust of Disney’s MyMagic+, SeaWorld’s Blackfish problem, Tony Baxter’s retirement from Disney . . .? Listen on to find out. Then we turn our attention to 2014 and what is already shaping up to be a magical year for Universal as Harry Potter 2.0 – Diagon Alley – prepares to open at the Orlando park. Plus, Disneyland 60th anniversary prep, Tomorrowland Star Wars projects, project delays and much, much more. We even have a cameo from Robert Coker about the project to save Walt Disney’s birthplace in Chicago. Don’t miss this one folks!

Direct Link | iTunes Link

Main Street U.S.A.

Here we are on Main Street U.S.A, after a successful celebration of Sleeping Beauty’s 55th anniversary on Wednesday.


Minnie was front and center ready to greet guests when we arrived.




Fortuosity is still under refurbishment.


Sad to say, the lovely Flower Market that appeared during the holidays is no more. We’d like to see it return with spring flowers.



Spring’s a comin’





There’s nothing like a horse-drawn carriage ride down Main Street.



Of course, the Dapper Dans are always a treat.

Sleeping Beauty 55th

On Wednesday, January 29th, Annual Passholders were invited to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Sleeping Beauty with a special screening of the film in the Lincoln theater plus an additional 2 hours—after Park closing—to enjoy select Fantasyland attractions.



These events are a wonderful way to give a little something extra to the loyal annual pass holders. Did any of you attend? How was it?

Splash Mountain

The refurbishment of Splash continues until February 28.  While it is an inconvenience to have yet another E-ticket down, there is an upside. . . the waits for Winnie the Pooh are virtually non-existent.






Work on the tiered planters left a bit of a mess.





Nice and empty back here.


Sailing Ship Columbia

The scaffolds have been removed from the Sailing Ship Columbia as the refurbishment of the good ship continues.  The vessel returns February 14th, the same day as Fantasmic.  But soon after, on Monday February 24th, the Mark Twain Steamboat is scheduled to take a break. Though Fantasmic can continue without the Mark Twain (they replace the ship routine with a version performed on the central stage).








it’s a small world

The classic attraction, it’s a small world is currently down to remove the holiday overlay. It will return on February 8th.

Round up of Traveling Disney Friends

Last year’s Limited Time Magic offering of Long Lost Friends Week was a huge success.  Now, Friday through Sunday, you’ll now find the “Round up of Traveling Disney Friends.” Same idea, better name (lol). This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the lesser-seen characters in the Disney family.





Closure and Refurbishment Schedule

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Closed for extensive refurbishment through March  2014.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: Closed through September 26 (according to Disney Parks Blog)
  • Fantasmic!: Dark through February 13, 2014 for major refurbishment.
  • Sailing Ship Columbia: Closed through February 14, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed through February 24, 2014 – February 28th for refurbishment.
  • “it’s a small world”: Closed January 21-February 7 for holiday overlay removal.
  • Alice in Wonderland: March 10th – TBA
  • Splash Mountain: Closed January 21- February 28 for refurbishment.
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: No longer on the short range refurb calendar
  • Disneyland Railroad: Closed February 24 through March 7 for refurbishment.
  • Space Mountain: Closed March 3 through May 22 for refurbishment.

Special Offer From Our Sponsor

The Carousel Inn & Suites, one of our favorite hotels, is giving away a 2 night stay in one of their fancy Club Rooms to one of our readers. Just click the link below to enter. And even if you don’t win, you can still get a great rate of up to 20% off by requesting a “MiceChat Discount” when calling 1(800) 854-6767 to book your stay!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck folks and don’t forget to enter and share!

That’s it for this week from the Disneyland Resort.  We hope to see you all next weekend at the big MiceChat Anniversary Weekend Feb 7-9th!  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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  • parker4fm

    I would love to see the Entertainment department at WDW contact Entertainment at Disneyland. Reason only makes me think that the Lunar New Year Celebration at DCA would fit perfectly at Epcot. It’s a poor missed opportunity that makes no sense.

  • Larry Parker

    Hope to see Little Mermaid upgraded to an “E” attraction!

    • Dusty Sage

      These are little fixes. They won’t fundamentally change the attraction.

      I really like the Little Mermaid. It’s flawed, but no more so than any of the much shorter and choppy Disneyland Fantasyland dark rides. Where I think it suffers is in the long stretches of nothing at the beginning and rushed ending at the conclusion.

      Honestly, if they make the Under The Sea segment a true dark ride black light experience, I’d be thrilled. It would seriously enhance the attraction. The addition of a couple more Scuttle’s to add narration would also help the flow of the attraction.

      • M69

        Agreed. Additionally, the main section – the fact that a rider is immersed in a room with a clear view of ceiling, rigging, lighting – is anything but magical. Alternate lighting would greatly improve this main ride section; I can live with the “bookends” despite incredible flaws. I was stunned – with all the hype and beautiful exterior – that this ride clearly needed sprucing up as soon as it opened. Wonderful that Disney is giving it the TLC it requires. Look forward to riding next time at the park – before and after the overhaul.
        Thanks for the update! Now for some time off to enjoy the park in its off-season!

      • mkyears

        I agree it’s not a bad attraction it just feels like they put the money in odd places. For me the under the sea portion is an eyesore but then you go around the corner and there is this amazing Ursula AA and your kind of taken back like what happened back there.

    • DisneyMan

      I hear they are gonna add a loop. Somewhere in here there is a Superstar Limo joke waiting to be made. :)


  • goinskiing

    The Soarin’ refurb has been pushed back, don’t know the dates yet, but this shows on the disney calendar.

    • quizkid8279

      Same goes for Space Mountain. The refurb schedule changed early this week, but there has been no mention of it on MiceChat until this article — which has dates that don’t jive with the official Disneyland calendar. What gives?

  • martinjbell1986

    Anyone got an update on the original WOC show with the new lights and stuff?

  • TacAlert

    Thursday was great at DLR. Mostly walk on on all the rides.

  • DisneyLover66

    Thank you for the update and awesome pictures! Those pictures make me feel like I’m at Disneyland.

    • DobbysCloset

      Me, too.

      I was thinking maybe we could fit audio-visual recording equipment to someone and they could walk around all day and stream live…

      …but meanwhile I am so happy for the pictures making me feel like I’m there.

  • Kenny B

    “Last year’s Limited Time Magic offering of Long Lost Friends Week was a huge success. Now, Friday through Sunday, you’ll now find the “Round up of Traveling Disney Friends.” Same idea, better name (lol).”

    I can’t tell, is this sarcasm? This is the second time in the past week someone on MiceChat referenced that “Round up of Traveling Disney Friends” is a better name then “Long Lost Friends Week”… I think the name “Round up of Traveling Disney Friends” is a travesty, and is selling itself through the majesty that is the Walt Disney brand. fake “pixie dust” if you will. The name makes me cringe. Round up? Really? I feel words like these capitalize on the “bright side” of Disney, the hardcore Disney freaks, and uneducated tourists to whom “round up” sounds like a “gay old time”.

    I know, I’m a little jaded.

  • LoveStallion

    But really, is there ever much of a wait for Winnie? 10 minutes, max, is what I typically see. Stupid ride.

    • Zorro825

      I was thinking the same thing!!

    • Tinkbelle

      I thought it was supposed to be a joke.

  • billyjobobb

    I went to Disneyland on Halloween, before they made Halloween a big deal and remember how awesome it was that all the long lost Disney characters were out and about. I still have some of the pictures I took with them.

  • Ben Auer

    So glad that Splash Mountain is finally getting some maintenance. Does anyone know if they are going to be fixing all the broken animatronics in there that have been down for almost a year now? Also when they refurbish Space Mountain, are they finally going to replace all the missing lights in the blue strobe sequence after the first lift? I hope so since some Disney rides recently have not been living up to Walt Disney values.

  • DobbysCloset

    I am looking forward to photos from Chinese New Year festivities!

  • ralzap

    Great update. Thanks