Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour party kicks off busy summer season at Disneyland

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort, Features

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

Published on May 26, 2014 at 5:05 am with 54 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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  • RemainSeatedPlz87

    I was there the full 24 hours and even after the dance parties began I never really saw it become “unfamily friendly” I thought it was all handled very well.

    • GDub80

      I would agree with you. It was easy to walk around, and everyone was on their best game! The Disney CM’s and entertainment did a phenomenal job!!

    • MrsMonroe

      i agree, just because they mentioned cigarettes doesnt mean that kids who hear it will start smoking and Walt was a heavy smoker, people need to stop being politically correct, its annoying. music and styles change and just because Disney wants to be contemporary for their crowds doesnt make them unfamily friendly

  • LoveStallion

    How has it taken so many weeks to do the woodwork over at Paradise Pier? Shouldn’t a job like that take a few nights, tops?

    Am I alone in vehemently disliking the entire “Disney Side” campaign? It just seems like such phoned-in marketing. “Hey! We haven’t put an entirely new ride in here since 2005 (and even that was a copy of a Florida attraction), but we’re happy to harvest your social data and, if you’re lucky, you might see your picture on a screen!”

    • CaptainAction

      Show them your Disney side; it’s your backside as you head to Universal or somewhere else.

      • ayalexander

        you say that a lot

      • thebear

        good one Captain. the 28th time is always the funniest.

      • WDWfanBoston

        Wow, Captain. You get perturbed when I say you copy and paste all of your comments. We are still looking for some original thoughts…

      • LoveStallion

        A Captain. Unlike you, I do love the Disney parks and don’t look for any excuse to belittle them. Working in marketing and communications, I just think “Disney Side” is a pretty weak marketing move and represents laziness on the part of Disney’s M&C team.

        Also, while you might relish the chance to promote Universal’s Florida properties, this article is about Anaheim, and if I have to choose between Disney in CA and Universal in Hollywood, I will definitely go with Disney. Universal Studios may be expanding and changing – and undoubtedly for the better – but my back shall not turn on Disney if we’re in California.

        And if I crave cheap thrills I just go to Knott’s.

        Hey MiceChat, I know it’s important to have registered users and all, but maybe you can switch your commenting engine to Disqus so we can more freely vote down Captain’s comments. What say ye?

    • LoveStallion

      Also, I’d like to note that my query regarding the woodwork at the Pier is a genuine one. I can’t understand why it should take more than a few days, but I’m also no expert. Anyone have any elucidation for me?

      • YidChef

        From what it looks like to me ( by the pictures show here and in past weeks editions) is they’re replacing all the wood, not just the rotted one, if this is the case this would be very smart of them, so they don’t need to replace wood every couple of months. I’m no carpenter, so I very well might be wrong, but his might be why it’s taking so long

  • jcruise86

    Josh Gad is up there with Nathan Lane and Jack Black. I hope he gets film parts that let him show off, like a movie version of “The Book of Mormon.”

    The princesses on their cell phones reminded me of seeing Show White singing “Proud Mary” at the Oscars with Rob Lowe, or of seeing her backstage in the early 80s smoking.

  • DisneyLover66

    As always, fantastic photos and commentary! I think it’s good that you pointed out the “family unfriendly lyrics.”

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    Hanging at NOS this weekend –
    I realized that all THAT construction (and the inconveniences its caused is ME) is for something I’ll prolly never see

    it’d be nice if they spent that kind of attention to the subs tho, or haunted mansion or tomorowland or whatever

    that dude took the subs

  • Haven

    So, is there a parking lot tram that services that stroller parking area in front of Small World? Whaaaat.
    Also, too bad a retractable railing system could not have been acceptable at Alice for times when the attraction is being serviced or evacuated.

  • Oregonmom2

    The disney princesses on their cell phones…I am guessing/hoping that these are actually two VISITORS dressed as princesses…not actual disney cast members??? I once saw a cast member by Disneyland hotel who was outside and on a cell phone. I have never seen anyone run and hide so fast!!!

    Does anyone know about the picture in the article???

    Great article!!! Everything looks great, and I wish I was there!

    • ayalexander

      Of course those are not actual characters. Disney doesn’t allow women of that age to be a princess. Plus Disney gives their princesses wigs that are highly cared for, those women had their real hair done up, and Cinderella has blonde hair, not brown. Plus their costumes aren’t up to the Disney standard, they are cheap. Nothing about them or their activity says they are Disney cast members. They are so obviously guests.

      • Susan Hughes

        It’s really quite easy to tell those were NOT actual Disney Princesses. Too old…too unattractive. After all, it’s Disneyland…not Walt Disney World (oh, I’m gonna catch hellfire for that).

  • Algernon

    I guess all the water on the ground by Club 33 is from people who just barely made it to the restrooms before seeing the “No Restroom Access signs.” I hope they’ll understand that they were probably hooking up the golden toilets in Club 33 that day, and had to close them off.

    Can’t they do anything about the stroller blight in front of Small World? It looks horrible!

    Too bad about the Alice in Wonderland leaves.

    No way would I go to Disneyland when it’s that crowded!

  • JiminyCricketFan

    While I think occasional parties at Disneyland is a great idea, I cannot help but feel the underlying profit motive for the whole event. When Disney finds something that makes money, they usually beat it to death. I think once a year parties like this is fun, but I foresee Disney doing this as often as they can to rake in the dollars as fast as they can.

    I really do wish that there was more attention put to the 60th activities and attractions. I am glad there is a parade, but I want a new fireworks show, a new attraction open, and truly unique and attractive Disneyland exclusive commemorative merchandise.

  • pinkertonfloyd

    Strange… on Halloween Nights, you are not allowed to dress like a Disney Character… but it’s okay for this?

    • ayalexander

      Because on Halloween, people go completely overboard. During a summer day, people don’t have immediate access to crazy costumes cause its not Halloween yet. But I do see your point. I don’t think its right to dress up as a disney character, while in a Disney park. One girl was dressed as slutty Roger Rabbit! Oh ppppplease, WHO DOES THAT?

      (“ppppplease” -you know I had to do it)

      • Eeee-va

        My understanding is that if Disney has an event where they say you can dress as a Disney character (paid Halloween party, Rock Your Disney Side event) you can certainly dress as a Disney character. Guests are supposed to follow the rules (no masks that cover your eyes, costume shouldn’t drag the ground, guests dressed as Disney characters can’t pose for photos with other guests, etc.).

        There are a lot of gray areas, with people sometimes practically dressing as characters for Dapper Days (which was never the creator’s intention), people “Disneybounding” in outfits that are basically costumes, etc. And certainly, Disney does not enforce their rules consistently. On their blogs, they have actually been encouraging “Disneybounding” (dressing in outfits of the same colors as/reminiscent of characters; not dressing outright AS the characters). But their rules still say:

        Ensuring that the parks are family friendly is an important part of the Disney experience. In that spirit, we ask you to use your discretion and common sense. Attire that is not appropriate for the theme parks (and which may result in refusal of admittance) includes but is not limited to:

        *Adult costumes or clothing that can be viewed as representative of an actual Disney character
        *Masks (unless you are dressing up for a particular event)
        *Clothing with objectionable material, including obscene language or graphics
        *Excessively torn clothing
        *Clothing which, by nature, exposes excessive portions of the skin that may be viewed as inappropriate for a family environment
        *Tattoos that could be considered objectionable, such as with obscene language or graphics

        Anyway, for Rock Your Disney Side, Disney explicitly encouraged guests of all ages to dress as their favorite heroes and villains. I do wish guests would all keep it classy and family-friendly. But when Disney invites and encourages guests to dress as Disney characters in their park on certain days and guests take them up on the invitation, then if anyone doesn’t like it, I think their quarrel is with Disney more than the guests.

      • ayalexander

        No I understand. I’m just saying that Disney shouldn’t allow people to dress up exactly as a Disney Character in a Disney Park. It’s just not right. Yes Disney told them to dress up, so I’m not blaming the guest. I’m saying Disney shouldn’t let adult people dress up as a Disney Character. Because then you get girls that dress as inappropriate versions of characters like slutty Roger Rabbit or all-too-revealing Belle. A girl once dressed up as mickey, She had red, super short shorts and a black tube top. She was dressed very inappropriately for a family environment, let alone mimicking a family-friendly Disney character. Its just not right.

  • ayalexander

    Great update. I wish I could go to Disneyland on the 24hr day. Crowds only bother me during regular business hours because you usually can’t ride much rides. But during a 24hr day, you have 24 hrs to at least get twelve rides in. Probably much more, though I wouldn’t leave one park just to visit the other, I would pick Disneyland and stick with it for 24hrs.

    Truly is sad to see New Orleans Square blocked off and under tarps… and even sadder to see each shop still open. At least close one shop to show that Disney is willing to make a sacrifice on their part… but nooo. I feel strongly that the Court of Angels should still be open to regular guests, that is a lovely hidden corner of the park, and now they took it away to hand it to their elite guests whom I’m sure won’t appreciate the courtyard the way we do. Every time I took a first-timer to Disneyland with me, Court of Angels was a mid-day stop as part of my tour. But now, you have to be an elite member just to see it. How truly sad.

    MiceChatters, don’t blame the company for this, if you must put blame, then blame the individuals that came up with the idea. I used to work for Disneyland, and I know what its like for people to blame me for something that my higher-up told me to do. One person creates the mistake that makes the guests blame the whole company.

  • dcaguy

    It’s just a matter of time before Mary Niven brings a night time rave mad t party to Disneyland.

    • ayalexander

      If that were to happen, which I’m sure it won’t. It would most likely be in Tomorrowland, but you see, Disneyland isn’t a failing theme park with no means to keep people at night. For all intensive purposes, her idea succeeded and kept people in DCA at night. So don’t knock it too much 🙂

      • LoveStallion

        Intents and purposes. No worries. I’ve been there, too.

  • CADisney

    Great update, thank you! Andy, in your next update, can you provide a picture from the Pirates exit? In the past few updates you have showed us that – wondering if they wrapped it up as part of the refurbishment.

  • Ravjay12

    Great update and pictures! Hey, people pay all that money, if they can get through security checkpoint and through the main gate, than they can wear whatever they want. I’ve seen people dressed as characters all the time in Disney theme parks. Tokyo Disneyland is a great example. They don’t work there, so Disney can’t tell them they can’t wear character outfits. Most kids can tell who the actual characters are anyway.

  • pvcoasterguy

    Regarding the “family unfriendly” aspect:

    This event took place late at night. Most families, particularly those with young children, likely refrained from late night festivities. Obviously most of the people going to stay the late night would have been old enough where the lyrics to a song like #Selfie (oh my gosh, cigarettes!) would be fine. Let’s not forget that smoking is not illegal and children can see people smoking around areas of the parks and may have parents who are smokers.

    Additionally, I’ve seen families enjoying and having fun at things like the Mad T Party. There are plenty of calmer areas around the park that those disenchanted by the party atmosphere could seek refuge. But it’s great to give teens and young adults a way to see that Disney is actually relevant and in-tune with pop culture.

    • Will G

      Your point about younger children and late night is valid.
      But please don’t mock the opinion that songs promoting cigarette use are family unfriendly.
      Pre teens will have been old enough to have stayed up overnight and immature enough to take the message of smoking as a positive and glamorous one.
      You are correct that Disney showed themselves to be in-tune with pop culture, but in this case, I feel it was a flat note.
      There is much in our current pop culture that is better unrepeated

      Even if your parental examples are addicted to smoking, it would be better if Disney (or any corporation) did not re-enforce a poor choice.

      Will G

      • DisneyLover66

        Perfectly said, Will G. Walt’s vision was to set the standard and not be a follower. Disney is known for its attention to detail. That is what sets it apart from other theme parks. And, that is why people pay what they do to spend time there. In this case, I think someone dropped the ball in allowing those foolish lyrics.

        Also, Walt Disney died of lung cancer. In his day doctors were encouraging people to smoke, saying it was “good for you.” I don’t think Walt would want to hear anything that glamorizes cigarettes.

      • LoveStallion

        Not only that, but Walt was ashamed of his smoking habit and went out of his way not to let people see him smoke or promoting smoking in any way. “Saving Mr. Banks” wasn’t just making that part up.

  • Westsider

    Almost to the sixth month of the Subs refurbishment, and still nothing happening. You could put a string of those lagoon photos together from January thru May and not see so much as a sandbag move an inch. Friends in Tomorrowland say they haven’t done a thing in the caverns or in the maintenance bay to any of the boats either.

    “Refurbishment” in Michael Colglazier’s mind only means Labor Savings. And a nice discount on the water bill, too.

    • ayalexander

      Agreed but Michael wasn’t the one who asked for the refurbishment. He handles the direction and fluidity of the Disneyland Resort, not its maintenance issues. If you want to blame somebody, blame it on the head of Attractions department, or if anything, the Disneyland Park President, not Disneyland Resort President.

      • Westsider

        I’m afraid you don’t understand how things work in TDA. There’s no Disneyland Park President, just a series of Vice Presidents that report directly to Michael.

        Michael Colglazier is the man in charge, and he’d been in charge for a year before the Subs closed for this fake “refurbishment” in January, 2014.

      • Lakerfan3224

        If anyone is to blame it is Meg Crofton since she is the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France. She probably mentored Michael Colglazier at Magic Kingdomon on how to cut the budget on attractions by closing rides down and not performing any maintenance on rides. Meg did destroy Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom and was ruining the Magic Kingdom parks by showing stagnant activity.

      • ayalexander

        Westsider, I understand how TDA works, I worked there. I knew people that handled budgets and attraction issues. Michael is given a budget. Its up to Michael to disperse the budget amongst the heads of Departments. And yes there is a Disneyland Park president and a DCA President and a Disneyland Resort Hotels president. And they are given budgets. The Disneyland park president handles budgets given to their different departments. So it is the fault of two people, head of maintenance and head of Disneyland Park.

      • ayalexander

        wait, Westsider, you are right about the Vice President thing. But they are still in charge of their individual parks, and have the sole responsibility of meeting the budget for each fiscal year. Its not up to Michael to worry about meeting budgets unless a vice president reports that they may go over budget. But if a Vice president thinks they will be over budget, they cut money from their departments i.e.: Jon Storbeck informed by head of Attraction and Maintenance that it would be logical to cut the budget on the Subs to meet the Park budget without going over. When the fan sites went abuzz with news about the Subs disappearing forever, Michael made a movement to inform the park guests that the subs will in-fact return, and to make way for a refurbishment just before re-opening of the Subs, budgets were trimmed from other departments, while the spring price rise provided a small cushion of extra money.

      • thebear

        I didn’t realize that Expedition Everest got destroyed. Went on it in February with my family several times and really enjoyed it. What happened? Lightning? Hurricane?

  • Tron5150

    Myself and my group were in PARK ACCURATE costumes, that were both tasteful, and fun. However, our issue was the constant harassment by security at every turn we took. Disney allowed us, who take our costuming very seriously, access to the park in our “Best Disney”, yet instructed there staff to stay on us all day/night long. The rules were simple, “don’t pose for photographs or sign autographs. We could pose with friends, and for photos but not with guests”

    From the moment we arrived it was clear Disneyland either did not properly inform their security staff, or the staff simply did not review the event guidelines. When we entered the park we were immediately intercepted by security and denied entrance. They stated “we were not allowed to wear costumes, and they were required to report us for supervisor approval”. It wasn’t until a regular CM stepped in and said “This is like Halloween, costumes are okay”. Then moments later, we were literally mobbed by a crowd of teens from a school who insisted on photos. It was overwhelming and a bit frighting. When we broke free from the crowd we were again intercepted by Security, who repeated the “rules” to us. When we said we attempted to deny them posed photos or autographs, security rudely said “Well, we didn’t hear that”. Then demanded we remove articles of our costume to make them not as “accurate”

    When approached by guests for autographs or photos, we adhered to their (Disney’s) regulations…however the crowds at times were very aggressive and sometimes did not speak English. Some guests would push their children at us and walk away, putting us in very uncomfortable situations with their children. We handled it as best we knew, by guiding the children to where the actual characters would be. There was never a time where Security stepped in to assist, only waited to again be aggressive toward us, accusing us of instigating or not following their rules. It was very nerve-wracking, and very exhausting at times. Even when we were with friends posing for photos, security (because I watched them) waited on the sidelines, then came up and once again gave us “the rules”.

    If Disney wants to do an event like this, perhaps they should be a bit more aware that some fans are truly talented in their CosPlay endeavors and strive for perfection in costuming. This event encouraged Disney costumes, yet they made many of us feel unwelcome and under a microscope…regardless if we followed the rules.

    Cast Members were wonderful, as were the actual park Characters we were portraying. Very eager to pose with us, and complimentary to our work. They were so friendly and supportive. It was the security staff who seemed agitated from the word go.

    For myself, I’ll never do another “Costume” event with Disney Resort because it was such a uncomfortable and stressful situation.

    • ayalexander

      I applaud your efforts to be accurate and abide by the rules and point young guests in the right direction, well done. You are one of a handful of park guests that not only do their part, but have a respect for the character costume. Disney just shouldn’t allow costumed guests, it just doesn’t work, then you get security doing what they did to you. Its a mess for everyone and Disney should just explain that costumes are only reserved for Halloween parties or never.

      • Tron5150

        After this experience I tend to agree. Honestly, had it not been for the repeated harassment of Security our experience would have been quite different. We know how to carry ourselves appropriately in costume, but we also recognize the confusion is causes guests. We all discussed how Disney will likely never allow something of this magnitude again, simply because of the collective of Cos-Players who went all out with their costumes, leaving the guests a bit puzzled or at times even challenged Disney for characters unavailable.

        It’s really tricky because as a dressed adult I enjoyed myself, but saw how certain bad apples spoil the bunch.

    • AuroraBoredealis

      Wow! I want to see how amazing your costumes were that they made everyone go so crazy! Do you have a blog with pictures? I’m always eager to meet other cosplayers 🙂

  • Lakerfan3224

    The Yeti has been broken for years, the massive Yeti animatronic inside the mountain would swing its huge arm at the passing train, leading Imagineers to create an illusion of movement through the use of strobe lighting on the Yeti figure.The clamps fastening the yeti to the wall were not strong enough to sustain the yetis weight, especially not when he moved and grabbed at the riders. The stress from the yeti’s heavy body and his motion apparently caused a series of deep, irreparable cracks in the structure clamping him to the wall, causing all kinds of nasty shakes and inhibiting movement. Now it’s only safe and sustainable to keep the yeti on the wall, pinned in place, forestalling movement. The only way to fix the Yeti is to close the ride down for a major refurbishment to fix the Yeti and the cracked structure.

    • ayalexander

      Thanks for elaborating. I knew it couldn’t have just been a simple “animatronic break down”. I like to hear the technical side of things, and now it makes sense. Structural damage sustained to the rigging that supports the yeti is definitely a major problem. Especially since Everest is built of 3 structures that overlap/intertwine each other. If one structure fails in some way, the other two (ride structure and mountain structure) would have to be closed down to fix the yeti structure.

  • manifest

    It’s been a very long time since Disney has done anything that was remotely exciting.

    • ayalexander

      maybe to you. I think they’ve done many things that have been exciting to me. Star Tours 2.0, new Big Thunder Mountain, redone special effects in Temple of the Forbidden Eye, refreshed Matterhorn, repainting of Tomorrowland, new boats in small world, fixed animatronics in Splash Mountain, and now a reworked fleet of Fantasyland classic rides. -Maybe there hasn’t been a new E-ticket built in years, but all these things they’ve done for Walt’s oringinal Magic Kingdom haven’t gone unappreciated by me. All these fixes and “plusses” have been necessary to keep peoples favorite rides still exciting, safe and new for today’s generations.

      Not to mention that DCA was a failing park and finally got the re-construction attention it needed. Buena Vista Street, Carsland, reworked Hollywooodland, repainted Pacific Wharf, new victorian style to Paradise Pier, addition of Little Mermaid attraction, new food offerings, plans to update Soarin’, new and successful nighttime show World of Color, and finally they gave DCA what it needed: charm. We older generation probably don’t see the “magic” in DCA that we see in Disneyland, but our children sure do. To them, Mermaid, Carsland and Buena Vista Steet are now their “classic” rides. DCA’s phase 1 did its job remarkably and now DCA can support itself and take a little load off of Disneyland’s shoulders. All that it needs now is a phase 2 with at least one more new E-ticket if not 3.

      Bottom line, it may not be exciting stuff to some fans, but I think most of us would agree that all of the above has been major, necessary and exciting improvements to the Disneyland Resort.

  • gtsouthard

    this essentially WAS a rave. I was in the rave business for a long time. the fact that disney is doing this is pretty sad and disgusting

    btw, someone tell that female Gaston to get some bigger pants. she may never have children those were so tight

  • daveyjones

    i had a great time, but only because we did it in two shifts. we were in the park from noon to 10pm, and then slipped back to the hotel for a nap. after hitting last call at uva bar (they were open all the way until 2am, something that only happens on NYE) we got on the monorail (no wait!) and did the park from two to six am.

    riding the mark twain at dawn was majestic, and having a fastpass for 4:50am–5:50am for space mountain (which the CM let us keep as souvenirs) was the icing on the cake!

    oh and for all the “un family-friendly” rave-like atmosphere comments, i have this to say: first, it really didn’t get like that until later at night. take your little ones home after the fireworks at 9:30! they are more tired than you think! second, the dance club scene was no different than NYE, and it was only centered around the castle. around the rest of the park, there might have been music, but it was more like tweens singing taylor swift.

    all and all, a great time.

  • jjw69

    Regarding the Alice & Wonderland.. They should of just left the right side of the track alone & only reconstruct the left side since the opening of the car is on the left side. hummmm!

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