California entertainment, Cars Land crowds, Matterhorn climbers +MORE

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on June 25, 2012 at 6:23 am with 44 Comments

About Andy Castro

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.

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  • mratigan


  • WheresMickey

    Great report!

  • Gregg Condon

    Love the new daytime water show. It just shows that not everything has to be “Hip and Edgy” to appeal to a large demographic. In fact, I’d say the Hip and Edgy stuff appeals to a MUCH smaller demo than the water show.

  • Baloo

    good report, the park looks awesome and have to agree with the signage for the dancing with Disney. the signs look pretty tacky although somehoe they fit with the crazy props for Mad T Party.

    i wish they would have found another way of introducing all those rare characters but it seems to be working at the moment with families. Parents were relaxing and kids were having fun.

    i do have to disagree with the comment of the carnival games that they place out in Paradise Pier. Although they may seem tacky to some the games were very popular with the toddlers. They had children lining up to toss rings and they were pleasantly surprised and excited that they got Disney stickers for their accomplishment. I do think that since the ring toss is the most popular though that they should get rid of the cards with letters though. That one looks tacky since they spread out those large letter all over the walkway.

  • tcsnwhite

    Don’t know why the ‘game squad’ is being all that criticized. Sure, it’s not totally period specific, but the game squad is usually out in Disneyland too, usually before parades to keep kids entertained. It’s not like it’s a major atmosphere entertainment offering being prominently marketed to $80+ spending day guests on their times guides (at least I don’t think so) as a major thing. It’s a little set of games for kids to pass the time…

  • FigmentFruitcake

    Awesome update, thanks! Can’t wait to get over to DCA and check everything out.

    Does anybody know what they’re going to do with the Chevron “executive lounge” now that Chevron is gone? Seems like they could do some kind of Club 33 tie-in to it.

  • wmp.dll

    Does anyone have more info on Earl of Sandiwch? I was looking forward to eating it on my upcoming trip to Disney July 16-20th. But now I’m getting seriously worried that it won’t be ready in three weeks. What the heck is going on? They’ve been talking about Earl of Sandwich for weeks now. Get your act together Earl of Sandwich!

    • Internitty

      I would like to know how that’s coming along too, there aren’t any Downtown Disney pics this week although there is a header so maybe something wasn’t added by mistake?

      • Internitty

        Or maybe my computer didn’t load all the pictures as I see them now 😉

    • theswillmerchant

      Originally, they said EOS was going to open in late-spring. That obviously didn’t happen. Now, it says summer. When I was there on the 15th I went by and the interior was pretty stripped down with some new framing going up. It definitely didn’t look like something that would be ready within the next month or so. I’m really looking forward to it opening though. I love the one at DTD in Disney World.

  • Internitty

    Where to start this week is the question,

    “A five-decade rite of passage for millions of high school seniors will come to an end early Saturday when Disneyland finishes hosting its final, private Grad Nite party.”

    This is so sad and is so obviously TDA saying we spent 1.1 billion and like it or not you’re going there, DCA has a long way to go before it’s worthy of taking over Disneyland’s traditions and I personally think this is a sad state of affairs.

    Nice to see Aladdin’s Oasis being used, I guess since where the fantasy faire is going was used by most guests in the same way it is a nice touch but I couldn’t agree with you more Andy when you say “a revival of the Tahitian Terrace restaurant would be spectacular”, I would so love to see that happen.

    Brady MacDonald’s Los Angeles Times review had some interesting comments to make that would be interesting for Micechatters to ponder, Brady says “The next logical area to attack is the newly dubbed Hollywood Land, which has a pair of studio soundstages sitting empty” it would be so nice to see the soundstages house a couple of new rides but what would be interesting to see brought to life? “The Rocketeer had to have bought his jacket somewhere, right? Elias and Co. must have been that place.” HEY what about something based on The Rocketeer, now I know a lot of people will say it was a one off film that didn’t do that well but the styling is perfect and the Rocketeer continues to enjoy success in comicbooks and is perfect video game fodder in this age of stunning game graphics (as opposed to the original video game) It’s just a thought and has to be better than Dancin With Disney …argh!

    This disturbs me “Grizzly River Run, lacking both Disney DNA and audio-animatronics, takes up a precious five acres of land and serves as a constant reminder of the old park, making the rapids ride and its iconic peak a prime target for renovation or removal.” Grizzly River Run is heaps of fun and the mountain is iconic, how can anyone even contemplate removing them and as for having no Disney DNA he obviously hasn’t seen Brother Bear or any of the Disney Wildlife films and did I mention it’s HEAPS OF FUN!!! However he is right that the area needs a makeover, I hope the Imagineers can come up with some great ideas to keep that area viable, it’s nice to have an area like that just like Disneyland has Adventureland and Frontier Land (Jungle Cruise didn’t start with Disney DNA (as Brady despicts the DBA) btw) “while Redwood Creek Challenge Trail might be leveled in favor of a new E-Ticket ride.” that would be a good idea.

    “Like a doughnut hole in the middle of the park, the Pacific Wharf food court, the unused San Francisco city block and under-utilized Golden Vine Winery seem orphaned from any land, time period or storyline.” Well duh 😉 I’m sure they have plans already for this area.

    “That leaves a bug’s land, a 2002 Band-Aid intended as a quick fix…. we’re still left with the most pathetic collection of kiddie rides ever assembled in a Disney park: the bumper cars don’t bump, the teacup ride ends before it gets going and the caterpillar train feels like the beginning of a dark ride that doesn’t exist….like any set of off-the-shelf carnival rides, bug’s land can and should be folded up overnight and shipped to the next county fair or church picnic where it belongs.” I like Bugs land I think the theatre is fun, might be time to update the show though and rather than packing up “the catapillar ride” wouldn’t it be nice if the Imagineers actually DID turn it into a dark ride, there is still the kids ride problem and dark rides can be fun.

    Sorry to go on and on I just thought there was plenty to comment on today 🙂

    • disneylandreport

      FWIW, there is plenty of “Disney DNA” for the jungle Cruise. The ride was inspired by the true life adventure series of live action nature films being produced then. Those films were a huge part of the Disney brand. Brother Bear….was not.

      Please visit our trip reports on Youtube at:

  • Puck2DaHead

    Wow! So I have been a MiceChat/MiceAge lurker/member for almost 5-6 years, and I have to say, this has been one of the BEST Monday morning articles, possibly EVER! After watching the band play in front of the castle and Goofy’s water show, it took me almost 40 minutes to read through everything.

    I love the direction of MiceChat/MiceAge and their articles. Keep up the great work! I read you guys every morning with my coffee, and it is the best way to stay connected to everything at the park.

  • AzGizmo

    Excellent column, but one correction…

    The car DJ actually appeared in the first Cars movie, not Cars 2. Other than that, it was an awesome column, and the photographs really helped to make me feel like I was actually there!!!

    • Thanks for the correction! I’ve fixed the mistake in the original post. 🙂


  • Algernon

    So far, I’ve read numerous articles about how packed DCA was and how great it looks. But I have not once read of a guest uttering the magic words, “This place is great! I love it here! I’m coming back!” which makes me wonder about the new DCA’s actual staying power, once all the hype has died down.

    Perhaps somebody who has been there can shed a little light…

    • disneylandreport

      The place was great. I LOVED IT!!

      Seriously though, I went the evening it opened and I nearly cried. I was speechless. I simply am so grateful to Disney for exorcising the sunshine plaza demon. Carsland was amazing, and I’m not even a particularly big fan of the film. You must go.

      You can view our trip reports at:

  • Agreach2

    That daytime water show with Goofy is great and really takes me back to those classic Goofy cartoons! 2 Things that came to mind however:
    1) Goofy looks like he’s in some small, awkward cage. It would look way cooler if there was a podium or some sort of real, themed space for him to do his thing.
    2) Goofy looks weird without a hat! I think a nice, classy top hat might fit well. OR maybe he enters with a classy top hat but takes it off while conducting (maybe it’s improper to wear a hat while conducting?? not sure).
    Anywho.. I think the show is a nice addition!

  • [email protected]

    Thanks for the update Andy. I am so happy to be moving back to the OC very soon. Premium pass here I come. For all that Disney has done to get DCA up to par with its older sibbling, it seems that they still have not learned from their earlier mistakes. I would rather see an open grassy area for just relaxing, than a loud, cheesey, on the fly production of noise and lights. lets hope that they see the light.

  • dgpollard

    Thank you for all of the well executed photos and articles regarding the new Disney California Adventure park!

    I am hopeful that “phase two” will come into play within the next year or two. Hollywood Land needs new and more rides (where Mad “T” Party is now) and new building facade / remodeling to the Hyperion Theater. And yes, in my opinion “It’s A Bug’s Land” needs to be either stongly upgraded or removed and replaced with a different themed enviroment. And I stongly believe that Grizzly Peak area all needs to be “plussed” and improved in a big way. Buena Vista street and Cars Land are terriffic, but it will not be enough for me to go back and visit as much as Disneyland.

    I look forward to seeing an improved quality of entertainment (hopefully soon), too in California Adventure because this department needs different people / talent running it. There are only so many ideas that can be bounced around before your going around in circles. And it shows…=(

  • konekobus

    Isn’t it Hans Christian Andersen? Not Anderson.

    Great looking covers and jacket though. I would buy themepark merchandise if it was anything like that, in stead of overpriced plastic kiddie stuff.

  • Timekeeper

    Great Update! I hope somebody in Merchandising thinks of doing prints based off the Posters of Hollywood Tower Hotel Sisters and the Elias & Co. Books.


  • skprnck

    I love how the Buena Vista Street Flags have 48 stars on them!
    And in some slight defense of that Dancing show, I think that was just an afterthought to add some extra entertainment to the park, without spending too much more money.
    Either way, the place looks great!

  • Bronco21

    From brilliant moves like reopening Aladdin’s Oasis, bringing back Matterhorn mountain climbers (not to mention the awesome spiel that goes along with them), and adding Instant Concert… just Add Water Disney still keeps making the horrid decisions that plagued DCA from day 1! Dancing with Disney is just ridiculously bad and screams cheap last second addition! The video of DJ just made me want to cry! What is up with Disney thinking Dance parties are necessary? They should have realized after celebrate a street party, high school musical 3 dance party thing, ect that dance parties are not considered high entertainment offerings by any stretch of the imagination! Same goes for Game Squad! If kids really wanted to hoola hoop they would do it at home! I don’t go to Disney to do stuff I can do at home! I go to Disneyland because it’s all stuff I can’t do! I say fire anyone in the entertainment department who thinks hip and edgy is a good idea (since it obviously is not something Disney does well!). Then close Dancing with Disney (and send the characters to either toon town, Fantasyland, BVS, or Frontierland (Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree) for actual meet and greet characters as apposed to these awful dance experiences. Do the same with DJ/ Red or use them for part of Pixar play parade. Next open up a bottomless pit and throw Game Squad in it!

  • fravitmonk

    Miceage generally seems to have something against people dancing at theme parks (unless of course it’s swing dancing.)

  • Kritter

    You complain that a space or something isn’t being utilized AND if it is not! Can Disney not win with you guys?! Good Grief! Dancing with the Disney Stars may not be something YOU “Dateline Disney” enjoy. But that doesn’t mean the thousands of people who enter the park with you have to hate it as well! It’s frustrating that everyone who doesn’t post on here just looks at MiceAge as a Disney bashing site and it’s really upsetting.

  • Nivens McTwisp

    Another great update, Andy!
    I enjoyed the LA Times article, but I have one major quibble with it – Grizzly River Rapids is my favorite ride in DCA, and the best water ride in any amusement park, period. Not only is both thrilling and fun, but is also visually beautiful, and the fact that it is shaped like a grizzly’s head is cool. It is a worthy addition to Disney’s great mountains.
    Any one disagree?

    • Internitty

      I couldn’t agree with you more, I love that whole area, sure it needs upgrading in general and it needs more rides but it is the Frontier Land of DCA and Grizzly Peak and Grizzly River Rapids is the centre piece of the area and so much fun. Last time I rode we werre getting off running around and getting on again for at least an hour and a half, it’s a great ride that has high capacity and is the most important thing in a theme park FUN!


    These reports are always ruined by so much nitpicky whining. “Tacky” this, and “tacky” that. So spoiled. Just give an UNBIASED report, that isn’t so negative. Who wants to read that??

    • dude4real

      Exactly. It’s pretty off-putting to have to wade through someone’s opinions and commentary.

  • Sleepy505

    Good Job Andy as always, Wow many Positive and many Negative Comments the story in the LA T

  • Sleepy505

    Good Job Andy as always, Wow many Positive and many Negative Comments, the story in the LA Times sure ripped DCA A good one but people have to think Disneyland wasn’t completed in 10 years and Disneyland still continues to ad all around fun. DCA I’m sure has been learning from mistakes that have been made and I’m sure they will continue to make some as you can see, I can’t comment on DCA yet to it’s new renovation but I will be there in October as far as I know DCA will never live up to the Expectations of Disneyland but I’m sure they never intended too.

  • By Jove

    Great report, as usual.

    However, I disagree with your opinion about the Dancing with the Characters. It’s target audience is little kids and everyone in there was having a great time. Parents as well as children. Our little boy loved it! I think it’s a great place for parents to cool down, kids to go crazy and meet some of the characters that they would normally have to wait in line to see. They even had an ODV cart there selling water and snacks. Overall, I thought it was a very good idea.

  • MickeysImagination

    The “Instant Concert!…Just Add Water” is a great idea.

  • WorldLover71

    What does Disney have against the letter “G”? Dancin’, Soarin’, Screamin’. Does an apsotrophe make something more fun than a “g”?

  • CCS

    I am very impressed and happy with the new improvements at DCA. My husband and I attended on Grand Re-Opening Day and dined at the Carthay Circle restaurant, which was delicious. I’ve got to say, though, that the garishly-painted arches at the mouth of Hollywood Boulevard, and which used to feature the elephants from the 20’s movie, have got to go. The transition from Buena Vista Street to the Boulevard lacks continuity. If they don’t have anything suitable in mind to replace the arches, better to just remove them entirely.

  • FredSimmons

    About the window display… Actually, that probably should be “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” on display, rather than “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Two very different books (from the same author). Tom Sawyer Island, at Disneyland, was obviously inspired by its namesake, complete with plot elements such as “Injun Joe’s Cave”.

  • Wyatt Hertz

    If I read the word “tacky” in this blog one more time, someone is getting thumbtacks in their eyes! Would I have preferred all of this had been done in California Adventure from the start? YES, but for God’s sake, I made the best of it and had fun there anyway with a AP/Parkhopper ticket.

    As for Grizzly River Run, the removal of the extreme sports theme and changeover to the “national park” thing is all it needs, leave it alone now. Well, maybe they could restore the geyser that is SUPPOSED to go off shortly after the final drop.

    • CCS

      Amen, brother. For 11 years, we had a great time at Cal Adventure just as it was, and as it expanded. Just being able to get a glass of wine or other adult libation was worth the visit. And speaking of wine, looking forward to 2013, when the Food & Wine Festival makes its return.

    • tgdiver

      Yes, please restore the geyser! And leave Grizzly alone; it’s the best treat on a hot day!

  • Wyatt Hertz

    I should also add that I did not attend Dancin’ with Disney, but it looks fine for it’s targeted audience. I did have a freakin’ blast at the Mad T Party though, and NO, it is not “tacky”.

  • Internitty

    Please note Dancin With Disney does not include the apostrophe ‘ on the sign …how tacky 😉

    • Wyatt Hertz

      AAAARRRGGGHHH!! Hey, youre right. ^_^

  • Orange Co Native

    I went to DCA on June 15th on re-opening day. The Buena Vista Street is a step in the right direction. However, DCA needs a lot more work. Disney needs to put in some rides that are long on imagination. The problem lies in the fact that DCA does not have the acreage in comparison to DIsneyland. There is much more at Disneyland to see and do. So a decline in attendance might be headed DCA’s way in about a year or so. Personally, I do not see paying the same amount of money to get into DCA as I do to see Disneyland which offers so much more for the money.

    1. Fix Bugs Land and get rid of the cheap carnival rides like the bumper cars and twirling ladybugs.
    2. Keep the winery which adds to the landscape and decor of the Buena Vista Street.
    3. The jungle gym in the wilderness needs to be re-worked with something else.
    4. The area where Soaring Over California is located needs to be re-done. Too much concrete. I think the airplane is good, but too much hard scape in that area.

    I know it is easy to critical, but the impression I get with DCA is that they ran out of gas in terms of ideas. However, acreage is a problem. It is smaller park. Maybe it needs a smaller price to bring the people in. Maybe a $30.00 admission rather than the $87.00.