Disneyland Resort Gets Patriotic, Wet and Wild

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Features

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Published on June 20, 2014 at 3:00 am with 13 Comments

We’d like to offer a sincere thank you to Andy Castro who kept MiceChat running while Dusty, Monorail Man and myself were in Europe for the past two weeks. Andy’s work was outstanding and he kept the info flowing for all you readers.  Thanks Andy, you are awesome!

Now, on with the show. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have donned the red, white, and blue for the patriotic summer months. Meanwhile the roster of refurbishments has dwindled.  Space Mountain plods along with a refurbishment as Captain EO “temporarily” closes to make way for a new movie preview.  Alice in Wonderland continues with its epic refurbishment while work finally becomes apparent at the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in Tomorrowland.  Some Club 33 scaffolds have come down, revealing a look at the new windows and stained glass that club members will soon be enjoying.  Over in DCA, the Grizzly River Run attraction has reopened, looking clean and spiffed up.

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The summer season begins and the flora is out front and center to set the stage.  New plantings in the front planter and within Town Square lend pops of color to the first act of the park.

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As Town Square has grown in, the patriotic tones are bursting from the flowerbeds with the help of lobelia, begonia, salvia and more.

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Bunting along the rooftops and eaves of Main Street give a festive punch to the town.

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As we head to the castle, flags and decorations line the street.

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Space Mountain

The dome of Space Mountain is finally getting some much needed attention as its scheduled refurbishment rockets onward. The recently grungy looking sides of the mountain are turning white once more. The refurb is supposed to last through the 3rd of July, opening on July 4th.

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IMG_1079Guardians of the Galaxy

Captain EO is currently closed to make way for a preview of the upcoming film, Guardians of the Galaxy.  Just like the upgrades that occurred when Muppet Vision 3-D housed previews of Tron, and It’s Tough to be a Bug hosted a Maleficent preview, it’s likely that the Magic Eye Theater is getting a digital upgrade as well.

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It’s a clever finance shell game being played in order to get the projectors in the theaters upgraded. The Walt Disney Pictures division can pay for these improvements under the banner of marketing and promotions, while very little park funds are spent in maintenance and upgrades.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Nemo is finally seeing significant work.  For the first time since its closure at the beginning of the year we are seeing some actual refurbishment taking place.

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While they aren’t taking the time to polish the bleached out “glass paint” in the lagoon, they are touching up some of the more detailed bits of coral.

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Above ground, the rolling hills that were left to wither are become green again, thanks to the revitalized sprinkling system.

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Alice in Wonderland

Now on to Alice in Wonderland.  This classic attraction continues its restructuring and refurbishment, aiming for a return on July 4th.  As you can see from the pictures below, the exterior portion has become more of a platform than meandering path. We are eager to see what the new hand railings will look like.

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Club 33

The opening date has been set and Club 33 will finally reopen to members on July 18th.  From below, regular park guests can see the new windows.

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Above French Market, the newly painted balconies have also been unveiled, allowing a glimpse at the new stained glass windows in the jazz themed lounge which was built inside the previous storage space.

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The windows are actually quite lovely.

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We can also see some work continuing on the rooftops.

Turnstiles

Just outside Disneyland, the bank of turnstiles facing Downtown Disney has now gone down for maintenance.

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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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Disney California Adventure has joined in the patriotic spirit by coating Buena Vista Street in the traditional Red, White, and Blue tones.

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A bit of red, white and blue has made it into the store windows as well.

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Grizzly River Run

officially returning today, after a two month refurbishment, is Grizzly River Run. The water ride will make a very welcome return after a strangely placed refurbishment.  Upon inspection, we really didn’t see too much that has changed on the ride aside from a few mechanical alterations.

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At the time of this writing the water effects on the lift hill were off.

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The flume looks the same, untouched.

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They have raised the roller bars just before the final drop to insure rafts move smoothly in this area.

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It’s not the most elegant presentation, sticking out like a sore thumb against the otherwise naturalistic setting.

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They have also reinforced the spinner bumper at the top of the final drop.

 

Rotten Rotunda

The epic refurbishment of the rotten rotunda in Paradise Pier continues.  Yes, we are happy to see the work being done.  Yes, they need to get the job done properly.  But does it seem odd to anyone else that it is taking this long?

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With all of the refurbishments and enhancements, both parks are reaching their optimum show standard in time for Disneyland’s big 60th anniversary next year. Next week we will take you back to Universal Studios Hollywood for a park wide update from the Entertainment Capital of Los Angeles.

We’ll 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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13 Comments

Comments for Disneyland Resort Gets Patriotic, Wet and Wild are now closed.

  1. Nice update! Great to see Space Mountain finally getting clean. As for the ‘rotten rotunda,’ my bet is as they uncovered how much has been damaged, they came to the conclusion the whole thing needs to be replaced, and now they’re trying to decide whether to just remove it (unlikely as you need some shade over there), rebuild the current structure as is, or do something different. My bet is they’ll do something a bit different, with more seating

  2. Thanks for the update Norman. I’ve really enjoyed the updates this spring as we’ll get our first looks at the parks since 2008 in a little over a month’s time. I’m excited to see what the refurbs look like when we go and the running posts have been outstanding.

    It’s nice to see Space Mountain return to white and know that the subs will return at some point too. While its probably not as economical an attraction as others the subs are truly something most Disney fans appreciate and would miss after it took so long to revive them.
    As for Alice I wonder if we’ll see more vining and leaves on the outdoor track that helps conceal the OSHA railings.

    Keep up the good work!
    Glenn

  3. It’s nice to see Space Mtn taking it’s, once every couple years, bath.

  4. Thanks for the update! The parks look gorgeous. Refurbishments and expansions (33) are noticeably different, indeed! Do not care for the actual Nemo ride, but do love the lagoon. Personally, I would love to see Autopia (gas fumes = future?) and Nemo disappear one day. Good to see Space is getting white-washed. Guardians is a good change (do not like EO). Must concur with the oddity that is Grizzly rollers along the otherwise picturesque theming. Look forward to taking a trip post-summer crowds, unless the nephews choose Disneyland over Knotts (or Magic Mountain?) this year.
    Thanks again for the update – made my morning!

  5. I really hope they at least clean the glass on the show scenes in Nemo. They were so dusty, and you could see workers wipe marks and hand prints if you looked well enough. Replacing the foggy portholes would be nice too…

  6. I want the geyser to return on GRR. Used to have so much enjoyment watching unsuspecting folks, just when they feel safe, get absolutely pelted… Watched last year, but it wasn’t running full force. Anyone have any news about this???

  7. They had some issues with the parts that were going to be used (damaged) so they had to order parts from another location. It was originally going to go down at the beginning off the off season earlier in the year.

  8. I’ve always thought one of the best things they could do to improve New Orleans Sq. would be to add a deck with additional seating for French Market. The footprint of the second story could be smaller than below, thereby giving a more elegant look. It would make for a great area to watch Fantasmic.

    • For a while, they were working on making River Belle Terrace a two story restaurant with Fantasmic seating. It was all tied into an enhancement for the Fantasmic show and anticipated heavy demand for premium seating. But that was all sidelined years ago.

      It would still be a great location for a 2 story restaurant and I still hold out hope that one day Fantasmic will get a high quality update. It’s a wonderful show but a little long in the tooth. Updating a few scenes and adding new technology from World of Color and Disney Dreams would be most welcome (by me at least).

  9. Thanks for another enjoyable update! I’m going to be in Anaheim along with me daughter for the VidCon convention at the Anaheim Convention Center and we’re really looking forward to it. But it kills me that we will be one week too early for the reopening of Space Mountain and Alice in Wonderland. Argh! Oh well, at least everything else (except the subs) will be up and running.

    Thanks again for the update and welcome back from Europe!

  10. How far back from the drop on GRR have they added those not so pretty rollers?

  11. Can’t wait for the Guardians preview. Perfect match for the venue. Hope to see the charictors in the park soon too.

  12. Visited GRR this morning (Sunday), while the ride was up and running, I was very disappointed that the major waterfall on the other side of Grizzly Peak was still not on
    .