Disneyland debuted its new Frozen-themed pre-parade Friday afternoon. The one-float offering features Princess Anna, Olaf and Queen Elsa on an icy, snow-covered parade float but Frozen fans might want to lower their expectations before heading to Disneyland to see the new offering. Meanwhile, work continues in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square as the major Club 33 expansion continues to bring notable changes to the area. Over in Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is seeing some major work get underway in its lagoon as Space Mountain finally gets cleaned up.
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!
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Meanwhile, at Disney California Adventure, the gorgeous Buena Vista Street and guest-favorite Cars Land turned two years old on Sunday. Buena Vista Street is a personal favorite — I fall in love with Buena Vista Street all over again every time I enter the park. Congrats on two years, Disney — now what’s next?
|Let it… No.|
Back in Disneyland, the park debuted its new Frozen-themed pre-parade on Friday. The new pre-parade is Disney’s effort to ease demand for the popular characters by giving guests the opportunity to see them without having to wait over two hours for their meet-and-greet.
If the float looks familiar it’s because it is. The float is the Mickey and Minnie ice skating float from Disneyland’s popular (and aging) A Christmas Fantasy Parade. It has a new paint job now, some new icy trees, and a new platform for Queen Elsa.
The new pre-parade looks fine, but considering this float is a direct response to the huge, unexpected demand for “Frozen” in the parks (the meet-and-greet in Fantasyland consistently has a 2+ hour wait time, open to close), it’s too bad that Disney passed on the opportunity to create something really nice for its biggest animated film ever. Instead, Disney opted to simply redress an existing float from the park’s 20-year-old Christmas parade and send it down the parade route seven months after the film’s release.
If you’re hoping to see the new pre-parade on your visit, be aware that as of now, Disney is only running it once per day before the 4:00 pm parade (first parade). It does not run before the second parade.
Below, video of the pre-parade’s debut performance.
Meanwhile, on Main Street, no visible progress yet on the new Main Street guest flow corridors. The First Aid and Wish Lounge facilities will be temporarily relocating soon due to the construction, with First Aid moving to the Main Street Lockers location. This change is already illustrated on park maps but, as of this writing, has yet to actually go into effect.
In New Orleans Square, construction continues on the major Club 33 expansion which is absorbing the Court of Angels area, which was previously open to all park guests, as well as the second level space above the French Market Restaurant.
In addition to extensive Club 33 work, there’s quite a bit of construction on the rooftops of New Orleans Square, which appears to be new permanent Cal/OSHA fall safety additions. Much like other fall safety additions, they seem a bit excessive, but at least these look like some of the park’s better-integrated fall safety additions.
Looks like extra safety railing has been added behind the balcony’s wrought iron.
Correction: The extra railing behind the wrought iron is not new. Thanks to reader ayalexander for the correction. — Andy
Over at Alice in Wonerland, progress on the new fall safety additions on the outdoor track appears to have slowed down a bit this week as the ride moves closer to its official July 4 reopening date.
Work in the Submarine Lagoon has picked up, with scaffolding and a wood structure going up around the sub track. Disney announced last week this attraction will reopen September 27.
Space Mountain remains closed for refurbishment until July 4 but the mountain which has gone without exterior maintenance since an incident in November 2012 in which a hired contractor fell from the mountain and suffered some broken bones. The incident, along with Alice in Wonderland‘s temporary Cal/OSHA safety additions in 2010, are what prompted the systematic addition of fall safety equipment in every corner of the theme parks.
Beneath Space Mountain, Captain EO’s final day will be tomorrow, Tuesday, June 17. The show will go dark to make way for a 3D preview of Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Disney says Captain EO will return, but has yet to announce a return date. We wouldn’t be surprised if this leads to a permanent closure of Captain EO, which Disney has been looking to close/replace for some time now. The 3D Guardians of the Galaxy preview is set to open July 4.
Over in DCA, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror went down Friday due to technical difficulties with the elevator ride vehicles. As of Sunday afternoon the attraction was still not operational. Instead of simply closing the doors, Cast Members offered guests the opportunity to go inside to tour the lobby and library areas at their leisure — a nice gesture.
On Paradise Pier, the wood rot repairs seem to have just stopped with no visible progress.
Meanwhile, water is now returning to Grizzly River Run as the ride prepares to reopen later this week following its refurbishment.
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend Knott’s Berry Farm’s grand reopening festivities for its classic Calico Mine Ride and family-friendly Camp Snoopy area. I covered the reopening festivities in detail for MiceChat’s In The Parks blogs, but I wanted to mention it again here in this column. Knott’s is a much smaller operation than Disneyland but the park is doing really great things right now thanks to great leadership by General Manager Raffi Kaprelyan and Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet, who may be familiar to Disneyland fans as the President of Disneyland Resort during its 50th Anniversary. The Calico Mine Ride is fresh out from a major six-month restoration and enhancement project that has completely transformed the attraction from a dated relic from a bygone era of theme park design to a spectacular, state-of-the-art wonder that features dozens of new animatronic figures, beautiful new show lighting and great new special effects throughout. The newly reimagined Calico Mine Ride, in a addition to the recent reimagined Log Ride and completely restored Ghost Town, really makes Knott’s a must-visit for theme park fans.
Below, video of the newly re-imagined Calico Mine Ride:
In addition to restoring and revitalizing its Mine Ride, Knott’s also re-invested in its Camp Snoopy area, revitalizing the area with a fresh, cohesive High Sierras theme throughout. The cohesive theming brought along some great placemaking for the area as well as three new kid-friendly rides. The result is very charming and breathes new life in this area of the park just in time for its 30th anniversary.
If you’re a local who hasn’t visited Knott’s in a while or planning a Disneyland vacation, now is a great time to consider visiting. With adult tickets as low as $40, Knott’s is an affordable side-trip from Disneyland and you might just be surprised at how much the little park has to offer. For full coverage of the Calico Mine Ride reopening, click here. For full coverage of the refreshed Camp Snoopy, click here.
|This and That|
In Downtown Disney, you can still catch one of this summer’s “Hawaiian Nights” presented by DOLE and Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii on Friday nights through mid-July. The special event is small, with a flat Aulani photo-op, some special menu items at select Downtown Disney restaurants and some live entertainment which is actually quite good.
|Weekly News & Information Round-Up|
|Weekly Theme Park Hours
Junse 16 — 22, 2014
|Disneyland Park||California Adventure|
|Daily: 8 am – 12 am||Daily: 8 am – 10 pm|
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
June 16 — 22, 2014
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A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.
|OK — that does it for this week’s Dateline Disneyalnd. What do you think of the new Frozen pre-parade? Is it just fine or underwhelming for such a successful film? Let us know what you think in the discussion below!
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