Disneyland is getting ready to kick off spring with a festive springtime roundup at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree with special character meet-and-greets with Disney bunnies as well as the Easter Bunny himself. Meanwhile, as Big Thunder Ranch celebrates spring, the rest of the park is in full spring break mode with big crowds, despite several attractions and small construction projects underway or on the horizon in both theme parks.
Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at MouseAddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!
Get a closer look at today’s update! Click on any photo in today’s blog to see a larger, high-resolution version.
We’ve got a full update for you this week – let’s get started!
Welcome to Disneyland!
Spring break crowds are in full force. A look at wait times Friday afternoon
Long lines and extended queues set up at classic rides
Pirates of the Caribbean queue stretched through New Orleans Square, sharing space with foot traffic.
Extended rope queue ready for big crowds
Big Thunder Mountain is the hot ticket right now following its 14-month refurbishment.
Long lines at the Matterhorn
Spring has sprung across the way at Disney California Adventure as well
Wait times Friday afternoon
Carthay Circle Restaurant recently switched to its spring menu
(Click for larger)
(Click for larger)
In Disneyland, Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree’s Springtime Roundup doesn’t officially start until Friday but signage and decorations were up a week early. The Springtime Roundup will include egg art demonstrations, arts and crafts and meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny and other Disney bunnies (hopefully Roger Rabbit will make an appearance!).
No Hillbillies back here
The Frontierland Troupe stage has been pushed off to the side of the Jamboree
Lots of springtime and Easter decorations
Meanwhile, various refurbishment projects continue or prepare to get underway in both parks.
[center]Temple of the Forbidden Refurbishment[/center]
Indiana Jones Adventure is now closed for refurbishment and show enhancements through early May.
In New Orleans Square, the Club 33 expansion continues although there isn’t much progress to see from ground level.
[center]Alice in Blunderland[/center]
In Fantasyland, work continues to get underway on the Alice in Wonderland ride. The “vine” portion of the ride track is already seeing changes…
A look at the work from the Monorail
[center]“it’s a Cal/OSHA world”[/center]
At the back of Fantasyland, “it’s a small world” is still closed to install safety railings for maintenance workers. The attraction will reopen briefly April 10 so Disney can officially celebrate the attraction’s 50th anniversary of debuting at the 1964 New York World’s Fair (April 22, 1964). Disney is hosting a global sing-along“global celebration” that will go to benefit UNICEF.
Happy (early) anniversary to a spectacular, enduring classic.
It’s too bad the facade couldn’t have gotten some fresh paint for its big 50th anniversary.
[center]Out to Dry[/center]
In Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is empty, the subs are on blocks and scaffolding is up around the cavern entrance, but there doesn’t seem to be much work underway in the lagoon or on the Sub exteriors.
Nearby, Space Mountain’s new addition is coming along as part of the park’s on-going Cal/OSHA safety railing-additions
A new silver railing has replaced the temporary barricades along the base of Space Mountain
Work continues on making the new ring at the top of the mountain blend in
At the entrance of Tomorrowland, rumor has it that Disney was looking at permanently removing the Astro Orbiter and surrounding rock work as early as the end of March. As of now, that plan has seemingly been pushed back, but the plan is still in place to eventually remove the Astro Orbiter and free up the gridlocked entrance to Tomorrowland as part of the land’s rumored upcoming Star Wars-themed aesthetic overlay.
In case the Astro Orbiter is leaving soon, we’ve gone ahead and documented the simple spinner ride in photos and video for you here.
The rocks from the 1998 New Tomorrowland are expected to be removed as well.
Over at California Adventure, the Pacific Wharf facade refurbishment continues…
[center]The Little Refurbishment[/center]
Not far from the Wharf, the Little Mermaid dark ride is closed for refurbishment and enhancements
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Grizzly Peak was still closed over the weekend even though it had been scheduled to open last week.
[center]It’s Tough to be Maleficent[/center]
In A Bug’s Land, the “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” theater will close at the end of this month and reopen mid-April as the temporary home to an extended 3D preview of Disney’s upcoming “Maleficent” movie starring Angelina Jolie.
In Downtown Disney, the big California poppy fountain is still behind walls
There’s some work going on atop the Wetzel’s Pretzels building
and the Wetzel’s marquee is gone while the work is underway.
This and That
At World of Disney, you can pick up some of the recent popular Haunted Mansion merchandise at a discount if you buy certain items together. The Hourglass and Candlestick are available together for $60 (regularly ~$75).
Likewise, the coaster set and bottle stopper are available for $35, normally ~$45.
The frames and music boxes are also available but not at any discount.
Inside Disneyland, a couple Frozen-themed treats have popped up inside the Candy Palace.
Olaf caramel apple
In Cars Land, a few new merchandise items have hit the shelves recently…
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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours March 24-30, 2014
Mon.-Wed.: 9 am – 11 pm Thurs.-Fri.: 9 am – 12 am Saturday: 9 am – 11 pm Sunday: 9 am – 12 am
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[B]”it’s a small world”:[/B] Closed through April 9, 2014 and April 21-May 29 for fall safety equipment installation
[B]Indiana Jones Adventure:[/B] Closed through May 8, 2014 for refurbishment.
[B]Alice in Wonderland:[/B] Closed through July 3, 2014 for enhancements and redesign of outdoor portion of ride track.
[B]King Arthur Carousel:[/B] Closed April 28 through May 8, 2014 for refurbishment.
[B]Pirates of the Caribbean:[/B] Closed April 28 through May 15, 2014 for refurbishment.
[B]Space Mountain:[/B] Closed May 12 through June 26 for refurbishment.
[B]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/B] Closed May 27- August 14 for refurbishment.
[B]Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage:[/B] Closed through September 26, 2014 for major refurbishment.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
[B]The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure:[/B] Closed through May 9, 2014 for refurbishment and rumored enhancements.
[B]Redwood Creek Challenge Trail:[/B] Closed for refurbishment. Reopening TBA.
[B]Grizzly River Run:[/B] Closed April 21-June 19, 2014 for refurbishment.
[B]It’s Tough to be a Bug!:[/B] Closed Match 31-April 18, 2014 for refurbishment and to install “Maleficent” overlay/preview.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
[center] A weekly look at projected crowd levels at the Disneyland Resort.[/center]
March 24-30, 2014
Spring Break continues unabated, giving the Disneyland bean counters plenty to cheer about…
The annual United Spirit Association Nationals continue through the end of this week. Expect an influx of cheerful, spirited teens during their off hours.
Hotel rooms around the resort area are very scarce this week.
To escape high crowds at Disneyland, amble across the Esplanade to California Adventure, where the wide walkways are better at handling the influx of guests.
Your wait time submissions in the Mouseaddict app have already helped us with these crowd projections. To ensure accurate and timely wait times, report your time spent in the queue by tapping on the attraction’s wait bar.
Disney announced new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed land and attraction for Shanghai Disney, opening 2015. (Disney Parks Blog)
Alright, that’s it for this week’s edition of Dateline Disneyland. What do you think about the rumored removal of the Astro Orbitor? Will you be visiting the park to meet with some Disney bunnies? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.