Space Mountain Goes Down Flags Go Up

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

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

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Published on May 30, 2014 at 3:00 am with 34 Comments

Another week, another refurbishment. With the long holiday weekend behind us, Space Mountain has finally gone down for its refurb. We see some interesting progress over at Alice In Wonderland as swarms of hardhats descend on the classic ride for a look-see.  Of course, Club 33 continues with its renovation, while below, more pathways are cordoned off.  Meanwhile, in Disney California Adventure, Heimlich has lost some weight as a section of the train has been removed. Speaking of green things, Maleficent has a new drink for you to try at Award Weiners. We have two In The Parks articles for you today, one from Disneyland and one from Knott’s Berry Farm (where we preview the major enhancements to the Calico Mine Ride).

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The Red, White, and Blue

Memorial Day weekend brought patriotic bunting and flowers to Main Street USA. Red, white and blue everywhere. It’s a wonderful time of year in the park which stirs that patriotic feeling.

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Blue Ageratum, white Alyssum, and red Begonia make up some of the plantings in Town Square.

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Red and white Begonia accompany the blue Delphinium at the flagpole.

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Meanwhile, at the central hub, spires of Cosmos surround the Partners statue like fireworks, bursting in bright pink blossoms at Walt’s feet.

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Plaza Inn Open Again

Disneyland Chicken palace, Plaza Inn, has returned after a relatively brief refurbishment. The simple but popular menu remains untouched. Mmmmmmm, Cobb Salad.

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Alice in Wonderland

There has been some interesting progress on the exterior of Alice in Wonderland.  It’s quite clear now that the exterior path on the former thrilling conclusion to the ride has been significantly widened.

The leaves were once a bit of a thrill as, with every turn, it felt as though you might go flying off your leaf. Those days appear to be gone. The curvy path remains, but the sense of danger will no doubt be significantly diminished. While some might actually like this version better, we bet there are a lot of Alice lovers who are already screaming “Off with their heads!”.

It will be interesting to see what they’ve come up with for CAL/OSHA approved handrails. We hope it’s not more insult to injury.

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The temporary wall near the opening of the door up top is getting the surface treatment that will make it blend more with the castle walls.

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A swarm of hardhats were busy touring the construction site.

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Third Shift on the First Shift

Yes, we know that some don’t have an issue with this.  Yes, it’s a nitpick thing.  But seriously, it’s just bad show to see maintenance workers touching up railing (or anything else for that matter) during operating hours. Premium Prices folks. Work like this was ALWAYS done at night to preserve the magic of Disneyland. The accountants may think the 3rd shift is an unnecessary expense, but it’s an essential part of what makes Disneyland special. Painting, repairing and cleaning would magically happen while guests were sleeping so you’d always walk into a sparkling and fresh park on every visit. We sincerely hope that pictures like these will convince the park to rethink its current cost-saving strategy.

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Nice costumes . . . not!  Pull up your pants, you’re on stage for goodness sakes!

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it’s a small world

It’s a small world has returned after a spate of closures that allowed Disney to install their own, self mandated, safety alterations to the classic boat ride. While many walkways were built, things moved and removed, there’s really nothing major that the untrained eye would notice.

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It appears that the facade is slowly being worked on.  At least we hope so.  We see some of the gold-leafing is sparkling, while other bits, not so much.  There are large portions of the white facade that are, frankly, pretty awful looking, while other areas appear to be freshly painted.  Let’s hope the entire facade is addressed.

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This is where the train passes under. The soot collects on the gold awning, causing the black color.

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Inside the ride, we did spot some rather crunchy looking flowers in the final room.

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Overall, the ride looks just fine. It’s clear that this refurbishment wasn’t to freshen the show. But the ride doesn’t suffer for it.

Space Down

Tomorrowland now has two E-Tickets down.  Along with the subs, Space Mountain finally went down for refurbishment. Your scheduled return to the cosmos is July 4th.

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Captain EO will be going down for refurbishment from June 13th to July 3rd.

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Space is down. . . you might enjoy Captain EO instead.

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See how the top two rings of the mountain are bright white and the bottom is dingy? Let’s hope this is addressed during the refurbishment.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Here are your weekly shots from the dried lagoon. We know you love them.  ;-)

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The lush grass on top of the show building is completely dead.

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Club 33

In New Orleans Square, the Club 33 work has taken over even more of the winding streets. This is the final push as they attempt to wrap up the project in June.

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When visiting this area of the park be advised that there is no way to snake through the streets.  Directional signs help you navigate.

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The work in the exit tunnel for Pirates is now obscured again as the attraction has returned to service.

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On top of the show building for Pirates, more work for the club is visible.

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MICECHAT PODCAST

Here’s a fun diversion. If you haven’t listened to the latest MiceChat Podcast, you’ll want to do that this week as a new show will soon be released. This time around, Doug Barnes, David Yeh and Dusty Sage take you on a field trip to Disneyland! Along the way we discuss what’s going on in the park, history, Imagineering and more. We also run into lots of MiceChat readers and get their thoughts on their day in the Happiest Place On Earth. We wrap things up with a discussion on which Disney resort has the most rides . . . Walt Disney World or Disneyland.  Join the conversation and enjoy the show:

Listen on iTunes  |   Direct Download

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Buena Vista Street

On Buena Vista Street the patriotic touches have been installed for Memorial Day and will remain through the patriotic season of Independence Day.

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They have even placed a patriotic American flag in the messy Big Top Toys window display. A cute touch.

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Maleficent Treats

With the Maleficent preview in Disney California Adventure, we have also seen a flurry of delectable treats inspired by the malevolent green villainess.

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Over at Award Weiners we have the hyper-sugary Dragon Storm and the Raven’s Feast Hot Dog.

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There are Maleficent inspired carmel apples too.

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Pacific Wharf

Work moves along at the Pacific Wharf where the overhead passageway is now getting some attention.

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Paradise Pier Gazebo

Slow but steady, the gazebos along Paradise Bay are getting the TLC they deserve to repair a terrible wood rot problem.

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Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train

Over at the Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train attraction we noticed something rather odd.  It seems that they have taken one car off of each train.  Is this a rotating maintenance solution? Is it a way to speed up the load time? Looks like Heimlich found a way to lose a little weight after all.

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You can see here the gap at the end of the train, indicated by the row numbers on the ground.

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Grizzly River Run

We close things out with a look at Grizzly River Run and the refurbishment happening on this attraction.

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Discarded bark falls onto the climactic drop as crews traverse the ride, repairing this and that.

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There you have it.  An update from the Disneyland Resort for your Friday morning.  If you haven’t done so yet we urge you to also read the exclusive first look inside the majorly enhanced Calico Mine Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm.  They are doing some great work there and it is pretty impressive with new animatronics, special effects and a great sense of history.

We would also like to let you in on some programming notes.  Next Friday we will be covering Universal Studios Hollywood for your Friday In the Parks.  Then we will be sharing the grand reopening of the Calico Mine Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm on Thursday and bring you a full update of the newly refurbished Camp Snoopy on Friday.  In The Parks will return to Disneyland on Friday, June 20th.  Don’t worry folks, Andy Castro will also be supplying you with your Disney fix with Dateline Disneyland on Mondays.

See you again soon . . . In The Parks.

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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  • sean317

    Universal Studios pricing is pretty close to that of Disneyland, IMO. They have workers 24 hours a day working on their projects. I really do not see the problem with that. No wonder it takes forever for Disneyland to complete a refurbishment or open a new ride.

  • ayalexander

    Well universal also does things different than Disney. Universal designs the whole project before they get started and have all the permission forms and legal work ready, then construction begins and the project is done before you know it. Disney goes the other route, they get legal work and permission forms done on an as-needed basis, because imagineering often will make MAJOR tweaks to the project right in the middle of construction, so it benefits Disney to not have the paperwork finished until each part of the attraction is ready for its phase of construction, therefore taking Disney a few months longer per project. There’s no wrong way to do it. Universal knows what they want and builds it, but Disney will change their minds half-way thru so it works out better to not have the legal work finished.

  • TDSTOM

    The fencing/guard rail around Alice will probably only be in the back – so if they have to unload the ride they care safely.

    • TDSTOM

      *can