Disneyland Resort Update – Beauty and the Bugs

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

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Published on April 07, 2014 at 3:00 am with 34 Comments

In The Parks is filling in for Dateline Disneyland today to bring you your Disneyland and Disney California Adventure fix. To begin with we share the latest progress made over at Alice in Wonderland and the Subs.   Next up we share a trip through the Storybook Land Canal Boats ride.  We then bring you news about Mickey and the Magical Map, where several shows a week are now being cancelled.  Jumping over to Disney California Adventure, we deliver news of a new movie preview coming to the Bug’s Life Theater, the revealing of the Boudin Bakery facade, and a listing of planned and ongoing refurbishments.


The MiceChat Gumball Rally is coming up fast! Get your team together and let’s get ready to roll in the event that has you competing with other Disney fans to see who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day!  Yes, it’s a lot of fun.  If you’ve competed in the event in the past, we have added a few exciting twists to keep you on your toes.  READ MORE HERE

Addictometer Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort

April 7-13, 2014


With the traditional college Spring Break over for the west coast, expect slightly smaller crowds until Easter ratchets up…

  • Last week the weather was a lion, but this week expect a lamb: sunny with high temps and no rain spell a perfect week and will keep guest numbers up during the weekdays. A chilly weekend might keep bigger crowds from materializing.
  • The Disney hotels are jam-packed all week long.
  • You asked for it! Mouseaddict now features wait times in minutes as well as our unique bar display. To ensure accurate and up-to-date wait times for everyone, don’t forget to report your own wait times by tapping on the attraction’s wait bar.

The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.

Ah Disneyland. One of the most perfect theme parks on earth.  Here we check up on the work being done on a variety of attractions and enjoy some beautiful imagery. Fortunately, the crowds have somewhat dipped from the normal Spring Break hysteria.

Alice In Wonderland

The refurbishment of this attraction continues through July 3rd, 2014.  Currently, the exterior ride track remains in place, leading many to speculate about whether it is going to be replaced or simply reworked.


The big leaves under the track have been removed.



Blue tape remains on the posts holding up the track.







Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Not much is going on at the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage lagoon. Let’s hope that when the attraction returns, they’re able to restore it to opening day condition.











Mickey and the Magical Map

If you are interested in catching a showing of Mickey and the Magical Map, be aware that several shows a week have been cancelled recently. We aren’t sure what is causing the cancelations, but one cast member suggested it might be related to union contract negotiations (sick-outs perhaps?). While Disney has been able to scramble and get the show staffed up later in the day, it might be safest not to plan on the first showings of the day for now.












This is a show we have become quite fond of. Hopefully whatever the issue is that’s causing the cancelations can be resolved soon.

Storybook Land Canal Boats

It was recently brought to our attention that there were some show problems with Storybook Land Canal Boats.  We were given a list of portions of the scenery that were decaying, falling apart, or simply rotting away.  Of course we wanted to check up on the situation and see for ourselves.

While not in perfect condition, the attraction, that prides itself on tiny details, wasn’t really in that bad of shape. At least not what we could see from the boats.





As we pulled out of Monstro, the first scene to the right is Pinocchio’s village.  No, the school bell sound effect was not working, and the town could use a spot of paint here or there.  But overall nothing horrible.




On a previous ride through, we noticed many of the benches in Neverland Park were in disrepair.  But look at the island now…



We approach Agrabah and, yes, it could use some paint. The golden domes on the palace have become faded in the hot California sun.  There were also a few chips on the fountain basin out front.  You just can’t trust those ducks at night.






Inside the Cave of Wonders, the soundtrack was working perfectly and the jasmine arches that preceded it filled the air with an intoxicating fragrance.


As we passed the Seven Dwarfs cottage and Mine, along with Lady Tremaine’s home, all looks fine and well kept from the vantage of our boat.



Going back, past the Neverland Park and to the left, the patchwork quilt, everything seems normal.



Crossing under another bridge, we come upon the three wind mills and Toad Hall to the left.  Again, all looks just fine. The ride came to a close and we were hard pressed to see any of the issues that we were told about.  While the attraction could use a bit of refreshing, it really isn’t in bad shape from what we could tell. In fact, it’s an attraction we absolutely love.

Club 33 Progress

We look again at the progress being made at the site of the Club 33 expansion.  While very little can actually be seen, we did notice a little destruction happening near the former Court of Angels area.











Refurbishment Rundown

There are a number of attractions that are closed, or that will be closed, for refurbishment at DIsneyland park.

Space Mountain

While Space Mountain is getting an exterior cleansing, the attraction is scheduled to be closed for refurbishment May 12, 2014 to June 26, 2014.

it’s a small world

It’s a small world opened at the ’64 World’s fair on April 22nd, 1964.  The Disney company is marking this milestone anniversary by offering everyone around the globe an opportunity to join in a virtual choir to sing the famous Sherman Brothers song. To submit a video, aspiring singers can go here to record their entry. On April 10, a live sing-along will be held at Disneyland and Disney World, and will be paired with sing-alongs recorded earlier in the day from other Disney parks, to air on “Good Morning America” along with others singing snippets of the song.  Closed for refurbishment January 21, 2014 to April 9, 2014, April 23, 2014 to May 22, 2014.












Gadget’s Go Coaster

Gadget’s Go Coaster will be down for refurbishment April 21, 2014 to May 15, 2014, excluding it from the Gumball Rally.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

Indy will be excavating deep inside the Temple of the forbidden eye until May 8, 2014

Tarzan’s Treehouse

Tarzan will take a break from vine swinging for a week soon.  The treehouse will be closed for refurbishment April 21, 2014 to April 22, 2014

Pirates of the Caribbean

Avast me hearties!  The pirates will be setting’ sail soon for other ports.  The attraction will be down from April 28, 2014 to May 22, 2014.

Disney California Adventure is becoming an old pro at putting on a world-class show without breaking a sweat.  The park is surviving just fine over the busy Spring Break period.  While maintenance continues in many parts of the park, other areas shine.

Boudin Bakery

The scaffolds and tarps have been receding from the exterior of the Boudin Bakery Tour. The freshly aged structure looks as good as it did opening day.  Now, if they could only update the stale video inside the attraction.









Ongoing and Upcoming Scheduled Refurbishments

Grizzly River Run

Strangely, this water ride is scheduled to be Closed for refurbishment April 21, 2014 to June 19, 2014. Many online have questioned why this wasn’t handled during the winter months.



Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

The interactive play area, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail went down for refurbishment on January 6, 2014 and is scheduled to reopen April 20, 2014









The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

This Paradise Pier dark ride is now closed for refurbishment and is scheduled to resurface on May 9, 2014.


It’s Tough to be a Bug

The “naturalistic underground setting” of the Bug’s Life Theater is currently Closed for refurbishment March 31, 2014 to April 18, 2014.  But when it reopens, it will feature an extended preview of the upcoming Maleficent film from Disney pictures. We aren’t sure how this film fits in with the Bug’s Land story, but corporate synergy has trumped theme in this case.



That closes another In the Parks, Monday edition.  We do hope that you enjoyed what we had to share.  We will be here for the next two weeks, delivering Monday updates from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure while Andy Castro takes some time off for school.  Don’t forget to check us out on Friday, when we bring you more news from the parks in Southern California!

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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  • jcruise86

    That was one of my favorite updates ever because it went through and explained all of the construction (and “destruction” in the case of the metastasizing Club 33) and objectively examined the claim that the Storybook boat ride isn’t doing well, and backed up its objective conclusion with photographic evidence.

    OUTSTANDING work, Norman Gidney!

    Now the predictable part: a new Micechatter who has not yet fully joined our cult will write something like, “I can’t believe that anyone would get so FURIOUS over tiny details that I never notice on rides like Storybook! I’m just there to have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff…blah blah.”) The fun part will come when this man or woman starts using his or her new AP more often and then realizes that part of Disneyland’s greatness is its anal retentive, OCD-like, Walt-like attention to detail. Then, around September this guy will start a thread,
    “Several AAs down on Splash Mountian.” Norm will investigate, Kevin Yee will fly out to see for himself, and even Dusty will weigh in with a short, polite, yet clear & firm editorial, and the new Micechatter will have become one of us. :)

    And, Hey Norm, any cat photos you can add to the cats at Disneyland thread?
    (Please? =^^=)

    • MrsMonroe

      sounds about right LOL

  • [email protected]

    Norm !!! Awesome as always. Great information on the attraction closures. Too bad that the Club 33 expansion is so intrusive to New Orleans Square. On another note. I will be visiting the DLR on the 17th to the 20th of April as part of a Dream Foundation presentation for me ( I have a terminal lung disease) I am curious on what I can expect during my trip. If anyone has any information on this, please let me know.
    Again, Great update Norman.

    • DisneyLover66

      If you go to the Disneyland website and scroll over to “parks and tickets” and then scroll down to “maps” and click, you can type in the name of any ride or attraction to see when it’s down for refurbishment.

    • Cyette

      I hope you have an amazing trip……best ever.

  • Larry Parker

    Always felt Agrabah seemed out of place in Storybook Land. It is the only desert display putting at odds against all the other displays’ settings. It just doesn’t visually fit in.

    • DannyeF

      I always wondered why Agrabah seemed odd–I think you are exactly right about the desert suddenly appearing. The palace also seems too big, but I know the scale is right. However, I still love it! :-)

    • danielz6

      I agree. They should replace it with frozen.

  • imagineer97

    Thanks for the update! Does anyone else think it is RIDICULOUS to put a preview for Maleficent in the “It’s Tough to be a Bug” Theater? In no stretch of the imagination does that plan make any sense! If ANYTHING, they should have put this somewhere in Fantasyland, but to stick it with “A Bug’s Life???” I don’t know, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Internitty

      I don’t see why they don’t put the previews in one of the unused buildings in Hollywoodland instead of kids dance parties and the like. So MY answer to your question is yes I do think it’s RIDICULOUS and I think the same for using the Muppet Theatre as well

    • Mr. Disney

      Although it does sound crazy, I have the feeling that it could be really awesome as well… and that theatre has a lot more potential. Have you seen the recent trailers for Maleficent? It seems that there is somewhat of a very Earthy connection she has… There’s a lot of tree like creatures, plus the thorns!! I don’t know… but I frankly love that theatre much more than the Muppets one. Also, remember it has the bug thingies in the seats, and the whole spiders coming down things… I don’t know… but I do have a good feeling about it.

      • TodAZ1

        Not to mention, if the preview is in 3D, it’d be pretty cool in the Bugs Life theater. And not something easily done in another venue.

      • TwilitWings

        I think if they were to actually do some proper thematic work (alter the lighting so everything’s darker/moodier, thorns everywhere, eerie music) it could definitely work and since the show queue has always been outside of the A Bug’s Land area proper, it doesn’t bother me too much if they do it right.

        Now the likelihood they do it right, on the other hand. ;)

  • SoCalFan

    Nice update!

    Hopefully next week the other side of the Pacific Wharf buildings will be revealed. It looks like, from my visit last week, that they are adding new graphics. I really enjoy the color palette change they decided on…really breaks up the buildings. On that note, I bought a new book from DCA that is the Imagineering Field Guide for DCA and it is a great read. Some real candid admissions about the original park and interesting looks into the newly intended back stories and such of the park…like I said, a very interesting book that I would love to see MiceChat do a write up on.

    Also, I haven’t seen it noted yet on the site but in Condor Flats/Soarin, not only have the Planes characters been removed from the billboard at the end of the land(thank goodness!), they also thankfully been removed from the Soarin preshow video. It’s back to normal and this should be celebrated and covered in an update!

    • mondo

      What is wrong with Planes? Was it a bad movie or you just don’t like movie tie ins?

  • a-mad

    Great update! Especially since we’ll be there in 3 days!!

    Norm – do you have any other details regarding the Good Morning America taping? If it is being taped live, will they be there that early in the morning? Is it over a few days, or just one day?


  • cellarhound

    Isn’t it amazing that an attraction could turn 50, recieve marketing promotion because of it, and be closed for referb? Smart planning guys.

  • EC82

    I just want to make sure I understand completely: Guests who visit right after Easter through early May will pay full price but find Alice in Wonderland, it’s a small world, Indiana Jones, the submarines, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gadget’s Go Coaster, Grizzly River Run, Little Mermaid and It’s Tough to be a Bug all closed, plus New Orleans Square under tarps? (I won’t even mention that this is to satisfy the deep-pocketed people.) Despite all the information that’s available online, most guests don’t think to check refurbishment schedules before they visit. I’m guessing there are going to be some very unhappy guests.

    As for “Maleficent,” clearly the Fantasyland Theater or even the Lincoln Theater would have made more sense for this Disney-branded attraction. But logic and sense are quite unimportant to the number crunchers.

    • Skimbob

      We go May 13 and Pirates and IASW will be closed still for refurbishment. i agree how stupid is that to have IASW closed before and after its 50th. I am over 50 and I don’t need that much refurbishment. I know they are doing the Cal Osha stuff as well but the whole thing is a little over the top in my humble opinion.

      As for Club 33 I get more and more sad every time I see pictures of New Orleans Square. It was once such a wonderful place and now I fear it will lose a lot of its charm.

      Thanks Norm for the update. I truly enjoy seeing my parks when I am not there. It somehow keeps me connected.

      • Berry Princess

        I know someone that is working on the Cal OSHA stuff in DL and they have been set back by supplies not getting there on time as well here and there for IASW. Plus on top of it they aren’t to thrilled to have to stop working because of the GMA stuff. Would prefer to get it done and not have that disruption at all. Pirates is on the list of OSHA stuff next that they are doing from what he said. I do agree that it was bad timing with IASW anniversary but what can you do. It happened and Disney is just making sure all the rides get that safety stuff up to measure for OSHA.

    • jcruise86

      ^ ^ If they didn’t shut down the attractions and repair them,
      guests like me would freak out. :)
      My bad.

      There’s only like 70 or so other attractions (including at least a dozen or so great ones) for guests to console themselves with.

      And “Imagineer97,” I’m with (the sacrigious?) “Mr. Disney”–really, Mr. Disney?!?! Do you introduce yourself as “the real Jesus” at church or as “the original Ben Franklin” in Philadelphia–just kidding! Anyway, I’m with the great Mr. Disney. When I heard of a Maleficent preview in the woodsy, DARK–really DARK, underground “It’s Tough to be a Bug” setting, I thought, “Cooooooooooool!” Then again, I can be a real idiot at times. My bad.

  • Nola ron

    Was just at DLR this past weekend. First time in DCA. Loved it funny thing on Screaming the back cars offer a smoother ride than the front. Also took advantage of single rider on Matterhorn both sides, Radiator Racers and Screaming. Was VERY disapointed in Tomorrowlands look. Hope it gets fixed soon! If you can afford it get Carthey Circle. WOC Dinner. $56.00 per person 3 course meal and great reserved WOC viewing area. If not get Fass Pass for show, currently located near Grizzle River Run. One last tip, on soaring ask for seats in B first row. Best view for sure!

  • bayouguy

    A very good update. I liked the crowd predictions for this week.

    • jcruise86

      Yes, again, Norm was clearly on his game.
      Nor-man! Nor-man! Nor-man!

      I wrote this before, but, Norm and Dusty, when my Disneyland-loving daughter met you two at DCA she acted for the rest of the day like she had met rock stars. I fairness to her, you two were pretty much posing in front of the Carthay Circle like you owned the place. :)
      (Kidding about the posing! :) )

  • Cuddles McHenry

    Curious about them taking down Magical Map shows. Doing that is actually quite a big deal, and done only in the most extreme of circumstances ( if not weather).

  • camplkc

    First ride I went on (that I can remember) back in about 1967..Alice in Wonderland ;-)
    at that age I was ready for anything..except,
    the ride broke down and I got my first backstage look at what today is still Wonderland ;-)

  • Slightly

    Hehe, I think you meant “avast, me HEARTIES!” ;)

    Thanks for the update!

  • Algernon

    Couldn’t help noticing the Coney Island safety railings on the Casey Jr. bridge in the Storybook Land photos. Gives the ride a real cheap carnival look. Too bad. Walt Disney didn’t want carnival barkers, but as long as they have the rest of the stuff, they may as well: “Hurry, hurry, step right up. Ride the Matterhorn! Everybody is a winnnuuh!!!”

    • Indy Fan 1

      Stop comparing Disneyland to Coney Island. Disneyland is not on that low level and never will be.

  • tigga please

    Great update as always, Norm!!!!