After five years of construction, changes and growing pains, the Disneyland Resort finally celebrated the grand re-opening of Disney California Adventure. The park’s tortured beginnings faded away Friday as Disney CEO Bob Iger officially welcomed the first guests to the newly re-imagined park. With the stunning new Buena Vista Street as its opening act and the spectacular new Cars Land as its grand finale, the park can finally stand alone as a worthy counterpart to Disneyland next door. Today, we bring you a recap of the various media preview events, grand openings and first crowds that came to Disney California Adventure last week. We’ll also look at the new offerings at Disneyland as the Resort enters what is sure to be one of its busiest and most successful summers ever.
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|[center]Inside Dateline Disneyland[/center]|
|[center]Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.[/center]|
|[center]WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND![/center]|
The construction walls are down and the crowds have arrived for Cars Land at the new Disney California Adventure. Are you ready for long wait times? Our friends at Touring Plans can help you avoid some of the wait.
Last week’s Grand Reopening of Disney California Adventure launched what should be the busiest summer season in the history of Disneyland Resort. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines – Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With huge summer crowds on the horizon, it’s a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!
Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.
— Fred Hazelton, Statistician, TouringPlans.com
Crowd Calendar Prediction[/center]
|Tues., June 19||[center]10 /10[/center]||Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:
|Wed., June 20||[center]10 /10[/center]|
|Thu., June 21||[center]10 /10[/center]|
|Fri., June 22||[center]10/10[/center]|
|[center]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.[/center][center]See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on youriPhone, Android, or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.
|[center]MAGIC KINGDOM MAKEOVERS
Last week Disneyland’s Main Street Opera House welcomed the debut of the Voices of Liberty. The a cappella group has been a long-standing tradition at EPCOT’s American Adventure at Walt Disney World, and has now been duplicaed here at Disneyland.
Below, a video clip of the new Voices of Liberty:
Also on Wednesday, Disneyland reopened the popular Carnation Cafe on Main Street following its remodel and expansion project. The Cafe once again has an indoor dining room after reclaiming the space that was vacated by the Blue Ribbon Bakery when it closed earlier this year as the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe opened at the end of Main Street. We gave you a first look at the newly reopened cafe Wednesday in our special edition of Dateline Disneyland.
The interior is gorgeous, with dark woods and rich burgandy wallpaper and beautiful new lighting fixutres. Framed photos of Walt Disney at Disneyland and Main Street concept art are scattered throughout the waiting area and dining room.
Larger guests should be prepared to ride in considerable discomfort in the new bobsleds and smaller guests will have to wait a little longer to ride: The bobsleds now offer much less legroom for taller riders and the minimum height requirement is now 42 inches, up from 35.
Below, we have a video ride-through of the refurbished attraction. Not much of the on-ride experience has changed beyond the new ride vehicles, save for upgraded lighting throughout.
|[center]ADVENTUROUS NEW BEGINNINGS[/center]|
The wait is over! Disney California Adventure has finally relaunched after five years of construction, remodeling and new additions. Below, Disney has put together a montage of the new Resort-wide offerings from the last five years.
|[center]CARS LAND RED CARPET
AND GRAND OPENING[/center]
Disney CEO Bob Iger took the stage, discussing the challenges of fixing Disney California Adventure and the opportunity to collaborate on a larger level with Pixar following Disney’s acquisition of the animation studio.
Below, Disney released a video of the complete web broadcast of the Cars Land opening ceremony.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is surprsingly fun and tends to get modest waits early in the morning as big crowds head directly to Radiator Springs Racers. We’d recommend getting a FASTPASS for Racers and then check out Mater. It’s a lot more fun than photos and video may let on.
The expected popularity of Cars Land has Disney ready for the worst, according to the LA Times:
Disney park braces for ‘carmageddon’ as Cars Land opens
An onslaught of visitors eager to see the new Cars Land area could force periodic closures of Disney California Adventure over the next two weekends.
The next two Sundays, June 17 and 24, appear to be the most worrisome dates on the calendar for park officials when up to a million annual passholders — in addition to regular park visitors — could inundate the Anaheim theme park.
“We know many guests have been waiting to experience the newly expanded resort,” Disneyland spokeswoman Melissa Britt said. “We expect this to be a popular time.”
With up to 100,000 visitors expected at the two-park resort on those days, Disney California Adventure could be forced to shut its gates and direct fans to Disneyland, according to David Koenig, “Mouse Tales” author.
The next two Sundays stand out because they are the last weekend dates when most annual passholders can visit the park following the Friday grand opening of Cars Land. Fans with the Southern California annual passes will only have eight days to see the new themed land before a seven-week blackout period kicks in for most of the summer. Those days — June 17-19 and June 24-28 — would be particularly good times to avoid DCA.
In anticipation of the crowds, Disney theme park employees will be required to park at Anaheim Stadium, Honda Center and GardenWalk on June 17 and 24 to open up additional parking spaces for visitors in employee lots on Katella Avenue and Ball Road. [ FULL STORY ]
Luigi’s Flying Tires is a rather fun ride, not being as hard to maneuver as early reports led on. Still, the attraction is an insanely slow-loader and wait times climb high for this short ride. It’s enjoyable, but we’d recommend waiting until the initial hype dies down.
Radiator Springs Racers is a stellar addition to Disneyland Resort’s impressive E-Ticket line-up. The attraction combines the classic Disney dark ride, truly impressive Audio-Animatronics, and a thrilling finale against the backdrop of the stunning Ornament Valley to create the first truly remarkable experience at Disneyland since the Indiana Jones Adventure. Despite being a bit short, the experience is solid and the hype isn’t lying — this is one you’ve got to see.
Below, see some of the sights and sounds from the Radiator Springs Racers queue and surrounding area
Take a complete ride-through of Radiator Springs Racers:
Or, a night ride:
|[center]CARTHAY CIRCLE WORLD PREMIERE
AND GLOW WITH THE SHOW DEBUT[/center]
The evening concluded with a first look at the new “Glow with the Show” version of World of Color and the first performance of the new “Brave” segment. For $25 a pair, Guests this summer can buy a pair of light-up Mickey Mouse ears that interact with the World of Color show as well as the Mad T Party in Hollywood Land. The Glow with the Show ears were given to all guests in attendance at the media event, which proved to create a surprisingly impressive experience for those in the audience. With everybody wearing the Glow with the Show ears, the entire audience became part of the show and the effect was staggering. It’s too bad that this effect will be lost on regular audiences that won’t be wearing the Glow with the Show ears en masse, as it is really quite impressive.
Video below shows the World of Color intro with the “Glow with the Show” ears in effect as well as the new segment based on Pixar’s upcoming “Brave” film.
|[center]A GRAND RE-OPENING[/center]|
Friday was the big day as Disney California Adventure officially re-opened to the public as a new park. No more walls were up and for the first time all guests got to see the results of the last five years of construction. Thousands camped out overnight for the big day, filling Disneyland’s main entrance plaza.
Disney Parks Chariman Tom Staggs shared his thoughts on the grand reopening on the Disney Parks Blog:
Today, we celebrate a defining moment in the history of the Disneyland Resort: the Grand Reopening of Disney California Adventure park.
Cars Land and Buena Vista Street are the culmination of a five-year journey that has infused the park with more of our guests’ favorite characters and stories, more attractions and entertainment and more of the creative touches that make a Disney Parks experience truly unique.
These new areas are examples of what we do best — transporting guests to magical times and places where our characters and stories truly come to life. From the rockwork of the Ornament Valley Mountain Range to the hand-laid tile mosaics of the Carthay Circle Theatre, the level of artistry, craftsmanship and attention to detail is spectacular.
As you have seen here on the Disney Parks Blog over the last three days, the Disneyland Resort has hosted tons of media, celebrities and invited guests from around the world to give them an in-depth look at the transformation.
Today also marks the completion of an extraordinary period of expansion across the entire Disneyland Resort. Since 2007, we’ve completed major projects at both the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and have added more than 20 new attractions and shows.
At Disney California Adventure park alone, “World of Color,” Toy Story Mania!, The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and Silly Symphony Swings have already proven to be extremely popular, and now Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi’s Flying Tires and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree are exciting additions that give guests even more entertainment options.
I’d like to thank all of the Imagineers, cast members, artists, designers, builders and craftspeople who worked so tirelessly and collaboratively to make this remarkable transformation possible. I’d also like to thank all of you — our loyal guests — who have believed in our dream for Disney California Adventure park and supported us every step of the way. [ LINK ]
The first guests enter Cars Land
Disney released a video recap of the opening day festivities here:
|[center]BUENA VISTA STREET ENTERTAINMENT[/center]|
Below is a video sample of the show:
|[center]THIS AND THAT[/center]|
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|[center]WEEKLY NEWS & INFORMATION ROUND-UP[/center]|
|[center]Weekly Theme Park Hours
June 18 – 24, 2012[/center]
|[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER]||[CENTER][B]California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]|
8 am – 12 midnight
8 am – 11 pm
8 am – 12 midnight[/CENTER]
8 am – 11 pm[/CENTER]
|[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar[/CENTER]
|[center]Expected Crowd Levels[/center] [center]presented by TouringPlans.com[/center]|
|[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER]||[CENTER][B]California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]|
[B]6.3—9.1[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[B]9.7—9.8[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
|[CENTER]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.
[B]For crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
|[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]|
|[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]|
|[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]|
|Okay, that wraps up our recap of last week’s grand openings and big debuts. Be sure to check in with us next week as we take a look at additional new entertainment that debuted last week thorughout Disney California Adventure as well as updates on construction projects in Disneyland and Downtown Disney.
For more Disney California Adventure coverage, please check out our recent columns:
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