The Disneyland Resort is looking absolutely stunning this week.  With the return of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, guests and pass holders alike flocked to Frontierland to see the explosive new changes on the classic attraction.  In the meantime, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye went down for an extended refurbishment.  Cross that one off of the Gumball rally strategy folks, it’s closed through May 9th.  Another refurbishment that began is the major Alice In Wonderland redo which will have that attraction closed until July 4th.  But not everything is closed. Despite work on the dome, Space Mountain has remained open.  Over in Disney California Adventure a similar trend is occurring with odd closures (including Grizzly River Run closing during the summer). Let’s get right into it then, shall we?

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Disneyland welcomed visitors this week with the return of the Disneyland Railroad and a host of new plantings in the Main Gate area and Town Square.

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Pink and yellow petunias add decorative flourish to the Mickey flower display.

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The dedication plaque sits center stage amid yellow and white gerbera daisies.

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Purple columbine are used as the focal point in the Town Square Christmas Tree bed.

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Space Mountain

The new ring added to the top of Space Mountain to somehow make the workers safer is finally beginning to look like it belongs.  The attraction remained open during this exterior reworking.

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Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

The Finding Nemo Submarine voyage continues swimming along with the appearance of a full on refurbishment, although little actual work has been done.

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But Bob Iger stated this week that the attraction will return. While what Bob Iger says in public and what actually happens aren’t always closely tied, it is likely a good bet at this point that the attraction will return for a short run for the 60th anniversary. We can’t imagine that he’d stick his neck out like this otherwise.  We’ll wait for the dust to settle and see what the real story behind the statement really is.

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Alice in Wonderland

The classic indoor/outdoor dark ride, Alice in Wonderland has finally gone down for its planned major refurbishment.  We await, with bated breath, to see what will become of the iconic outdoor section of the track.  It must be brought into compliance to keep Cal/OSHA happy.

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Captain America

The audience for Captain America is steadily on the increase.  Lines for this meet and greet were averaging 45 minutes this week.  While this is great news for Disney, it leaves them with a rather sticky traffic problem.

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Currently the entrance to Innoventions is at the bottom of the long ramp (the former exit ramp). A reversal in direction from what it was originally designed for.
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You now enter through the former emergency exit and are confronted with a tight entry path that requires a cast member for proper crowd flow.
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Good that the new meet and greets are doing well for the Marvel franchises.

The traffic flow getting to the upstairs and around the meet and greets isn’t great, but it’s nice to see this facility actually being enjoyed by guests.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

The reopening of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has been a resounding success.  Guests are, for the most part, thrilled with the smooth-as-glass track and the new, occasionally spotty effects in the final room.

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The loud nature sounds from Big Thunder Trail are now balanced out by the equally ubiquitous bass from the explosion scene on the third lift hill. If you want to avoid spoilers, don’t take Big Thunder Trail until you have ridden the ride.

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Late in the afternoon on Wednesday, the queue was well over an hour long and slowly growing.  The fast pass line had a 10 minute wait.

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Even Zocalo Park is being used as extended queue.

Have you been on it?  What were your thoughts? Is it still the wildest ride in the wilderness?

Indiana Jones Down

Good ol’ Indiana is down for refurbishment that will last through May 8th, returning on May 9th.

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The exterior of both Ride Makerz and Build a Bear are currently under refurbishment.  This necessitates the strange spectacle of large cranes of workers being paraded on a daily basis through Downtown Disney. Weird that they would not just leave the cranes in place over night.  But, it works.

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Grizzly River Run

Inside Disney California Adventure, similar refurb craziness is occurring that leaves us scratching our heads.  For instance, as the schedule stands, Grizzly River Run will be down, just as summer begins.  Closing on April 19th and not returning until June 20th.

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With lines hovering anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes on days recently, Spring Break will be a little less wet.

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Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

We also noticed that the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has had its refurb extended again, all the way through to April 20th.  It will reopen on April 21st.

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The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will be deep sixing from March 20th to May 9th.  This will be to update and refresh some of the key show scenes including the Under the Sea Sequence and Ursula’s death scene.

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It’s Tough to be a Bug

Also, It’s Tough to be a bug will be closed from March 31st to April 18th.

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Boudin Bakery

Here are a few new photos from the obscured refurbishment of the exterior of the Boudin Bakery

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Merchandise Mayhem

We have seen an influx of new merchandise throughout Paradise Pier’s shops.  Along the boardwalk some interesting offerings have shown up on shelves.

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Over at Treasures in Paradise, an interesting thing has happened.  With the change of seasonal Merchandise it appears that Duffy has been pushed to the wayside in favor of more proven items.

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Don’t worry. You can still buy your Duffy a costume.

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Ghirardelli

Nothing like chocolate to help erase the sad memory of all of the lost revenue from Duffy.

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Easter is upon us and what better way to mark the occasion than to eat the noses off of bunnies.  Really!

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Muppet infusions

With the release of Muppets Most Wanted in theaters this weekend, new food offerings have appeared at Award Weiners.

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Rotten note

Sadly, it is necessary to highlight this continuing issue on Paradise Pier.  Why is this wood rot, which was noticed months ago still in public view?  Maintenance needs to fix this asap.

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But we can’t leave you with visions of termites and wood damage dancing in your head.  Let’s close with some lovely shots of Disney California’s flowers.

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Okay okay, that should about do it for In the Parks this Friday.  We hope that you enjoyed your photo tour of the Disneyland Resort and we hope to see you again real soon!