Power Surge – Never a Dull Moment at the Disneyland Resort

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

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Published on June 30, 2014 at 3:00 am with 40 Comments

Summer is officially underway at the Disneyland Resort. The SoCal annual passes are now blocked out until the end of August. 4th of July festivities are about to ignite park attendance. And a power surge shuts down much of Disneyland and California Adventure. Today, we will highlight the nearly complete exterior of Alice In Wonderland and the refurbishments happening at Space Mountain and Captain EO.  Andy Castro is on vacation and will be back soon. We hope you enjoy this special Monday edition of In The Parks.

Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict


June 30 – July 6, 2014

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  • Space Mountain, Alice in Wonderland, and Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar are all scheduled to reopen this week, along with a new preview of Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • As summer takes hold, you’ll find that despite conventional wisdom, the parks are more crowded during weekdays than on weekends. Crowds are heavier in the afternoon and evening.
  • Hotel rooms are widely available all week.
  • The Key Club International Convention takes place Wednesday through Sunday.
  • For next week’s crowd projections, check out the new Tomorrowplan feature in the Mouseaddict app.

The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.

SPECIAL MICECHAT EVENT JULY 13th – DOWNTOWN DISNEY!

If you are a fan of extinct Southern California theme parks, we have a very special treat for you. Christopher Merrit, theme park designer and author of Knott’s Preserved, is about to release another amazing book on a fascinating part of theme Park history, Pacific Ocean Park.

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Meet the amazing authors behind Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles’ Space Age Nautical Pleasure Pier and hear all about this one of a kind Los Angeles destination which has been all but lost to history. The authors will lead us through a colorful presentation about the park, followed by a book signing. As with all of our ESPN Zone events, there will be a fabulous breakfast (yes, there will be plenty of awesome maple pepper bacon).

Seating is limited and will sell out quickly.  Be the first to get this book, meet the authors, and have your very own copy signed.

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

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There was a time when summer was Disneyland’s busiest season. But, due to the dynamics of many annual passes being blocked out for much of this period, Disneyland is entering a period of very enjoyable conditions.

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Let’s take a walk down Main Street USA.

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The red, white and blue flowers have grown in and are a stunning accent for the 4th of July festivities this coming weekend.

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There are also new plantings at the hub around the Partners statue.

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Power Surge

Sunday at about 2pm, a power spike struck portions of the Disneyland resort, temporarily closing many attractions for hours.  At one point, all of the following attractions were suddenly closed:

  • Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
  • Monorail
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Grizzly River Run
  • California Screamin’
  • Midway Mania
  • Mickey’s Fun Wheel

There were no injuries and all guests were evacuated safely until the attractions could return to normal working order.

4th of July Fun

Tonight will be your last chance to catch Magical until Saturday night. July 1st, Disneyland will present its annual patriotic fireworks spectacular. Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky will be performed at 9:25pm from July 1st to July 4th.  But there is more in store for the Fourth in the park…

  • 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band – This outstanding military band from Miramar, California, is returning to Disneyland park for another year! The band will be performing several times throughout the day on Friday, July 4.
  • Catch the band in a brief cavalcade along the parade route at 3:30 p.m., just ahead of the “Frozen” pre-parade and the first performance of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.
  • The band will help retire the colors at the Disneyland park flag retreat ceremony in Town Square at 5:30 p.m.
  • Immediately following the flag retreat, at 5:45 p.m., the full band will perform along the parade route, all the way back to “it’s a small world.”
  • You can enjoy the full band in concert on the stage of the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, starting at 7:15 p.m.

 

Alice in Wonderland
The new railings recently made their debut on the exterior of the Alice in Wonderland track.  Keeping with the whimsical aesthetic, imagineers have essentially widened the platform and added a railing along the left hand side of the track that is up against the show building.

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Vehicles were cycling through the attraction with no stops at the station this week.  One after the other, caterpillars were crawling from the upper level, down the exterior path, and back into the show building below.

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We are very curious to hear your thoughts on the look of this solution to the OSHA mandate. Was it worth the 3 year wait?

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Over in the dry submarine lagoon, we see plenty of work getting done out in the exterior show scenes of the attraction.  Set for a return of September 27th, the ride sat long dormant until recently when refurbishment work finally got underway and the tight purse strings in Burbank were loosened enough to reopen the attraction in time for the 60th anniversary of the park.

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Sleeping Beauty Castle

Taking a moment from the newsy bits of the update we jump to Sleeping Beauty Castle for a little bit of local color.

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Somehow, Disneyland’s quaint castle seems perfectly at home amidst the americana on Main Street.

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Walt and Mickey await 4th of July fireworks

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Space Mountain

The pathway leading from the exit and along the Starcade have been blocked off.  It seems that the cul-de-sac that was used as the disabled riders waiting area and also where the restrooms were located is getting some attention.  Let’s hope that is feels a little less claustrophobic when the ride reopens on July 4th.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Merch

Over in the Starcade we are seeing the first Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise hitting the shelves.

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This works out nicely as the Magic Eye theater will reopen on July 4th with a special extended preview of Guardians of the Galaxy.

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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 will get a digital projector upgrade.

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That’s Precious

A new set of Precious Moments dolls were released featuring Anna and Elsa from Disney’s mega-hit Frozen.  The twist?  They also featured the same characters in patriotic, American attire.  Odd.  The dolls were selling for $49.95 a piece.

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Regular Elsa on the right, Wonder Woman Elsa on the left.

Arcade Mania

The lockers along Main Street are still closed as the new backstage overflow path on the east side of Main Street is constructed.

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MiceChat Podcast

It’s another special episode of the MiceChat Podcast. This time around the block, we chat with outspoken original Mouseketeer, Lonnie Burr. He’s lively, funny and full of stories you’ve likely never heard before.

Direct Link | iTunes Link

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4th of July World of Color

On July 4, a special patriotic pre-show will be presented at the start of both the 9 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. performances of “World of Color.”

We close today’s update with a pictorial from Disney California Adventure.

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The Five and Dime players are still around entertaining guests.

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Chardonnay grapes grow near the Blue Sky Cellar.

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The low tide lagoon with Mickey’s Fun Wheel in the distance.

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The gazebos are STILL under refurbishment. Will they ever finish with them?

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the vista looking back over Paradise Pier is lovely.

 

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That wraps things up for our Monday In the Parks from Disneyland.  Please return on Friday when we will have a full update from Knott’s Berry Farm, including a progress report on how the refurbished Calico Mine Train is performing, along with reviews of the new Summer entertainment being offered.

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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40 Comments

Comments for Power Surge – Never a Dull Moment at the Disneyland Resort are now closed.

  1. Great update and pictures! Park looks beautiful as always! Another beautiful So Cal day!
    The railings look interesting! Not what I was expecting.

  2. I was wondering if anyone knew about any planned theming for the Main Street bypass?

    I know there had been plans for a Liberty Street, with the original plan for the Hall of Presidents planned for it, and an Edison Square, with the original idea for the Carosel of Progress show planned for it, with both streets showing up on Disneyland maps from the late ’50s up to the mid ’60s. I wouldn’t expect either of these ideas being used today, but at least theming the bypass to an upscale urban residential street of the early 20th century, or an older cobblestoned residential street with well kept wooden or brick row houses would be nice.

    • If the Paris park bypasses behind both sides of its Main Street are any indication, the theme would be the same as Main Street itself.

      • The two arcades in Disneyland Paris are a little more subtle than that. Liberty Arcade, leading up to Frontierland, features displays about the Statue of Liberty and a diorama of the festivities around its completion. Discovery Arcade, leading up to Discoveryland, features display cases of Victorian inventions and posters of Victorian retro-futurist ideas of what American cities would look like in the year 2000. I just did a post about it over at my own blog: http://voyagesextraordinaires.blogspot.ca/2014/06/discovery-arcade.html

        So each arcade is subtly themed towards the area it leads to, while still keeping with the Main Street setting. Also, each one is subtly themed to the French context of the park. Discovery Arcade talks several times about French inventors (including a direct comparison between the Eiffel Tower of the 1889 Exposition Universelle and the Ferris Wheel of the 1893 Columbian Exposition) and the Statue of Liberty was a gift of France to the United States.

        I would love it if they made a Discovery Arcade-style walkthrough, since that thoroughfare will be on the Tomorrowland side, but I would be surprised if they did. The arcades in Paris serve a practical function of shielding guests from inclement weather, so they are in use all the time, year round. This thoroughfare is only supposed to be used during peak season to funnel people out of the park.

  3. Thanks for the update, Norm. I especially like the flower photos!

    Let’s see Universal on either coast top Disneyland’s flowers. Seriously–though I usually don’t notice Universal’s flowers.

    I have noticed weak & nonexistent attempts at gardening at Magic Mountain, though Micechat has shown some improvements there.

    Knotts has some very good gardening. So does Legoland in Carlsbad. I like it when them parks understand that they are still parks.

    Precious Moments merch? With Gabourey Sibide?

    And the article title: “never a dull moment at the Disneyland Resort”
    –are there no more lines to wait in? ;)

    • ^ ^ “ThemE” parks, not “them” parks.

      • Either way. ;)

  4. You said, “due to the dynamics of many annual passes being blocked out for much of this period, Disneyland is entering a period of very enjoyable conditions.” I would like to see this bliss continue year round. It’s easy to do…just eliminate the monthly payments for Annual Passes. Or at the very least, eliminate the lower end passes and just sell Premium and Deluxe. This will help with the parks having “Annual Passholders”, not “Annual Passholes”!

    • Many of the premium holders, non monthly payments, as “passholes” also.

    • “Or at the very least, eliminate the lower end passes and just sell Premium and Deluxe.”

      plans for this are already in the works, as reported here at miceage and elsewhere.

    • I think getting rid of monthly payments MAY lower the number of Passholders.

      • Oh it most definitely would probably by 30% plus. I argue with some friends all the time that always swear they couldn’t afford to get a pass if they didn’t offer the monthly payments. Um no you couldn’t get one right now if they didn’t. If you can afford the 35 or 50 a month for payments you can afford to save that much until you can buy it. ;) People don’t have the willpower to save money.

    • Nothing like a broken record (for those old enough to understand the reference).

  5. I am dumbfounded by the Alice In Wonderland fall solution, I thought you were showing us images of warning posts set up during construction so they wouldn’t walk off the edge before they installed the final solution Could have thought of sticking up a few witches hats and it wouldn’t have taken me 3 years.

    • Internitty – you are looking on the wrong side of the track.

      As eicarr says below you, though, the update is so amazing that you missed it – and so did I, at first… I had to think and look again. I can only assume that they will shortly be taking the same approach on the side of the track that currently has the witches hats.

  6. The nearly unnoticeable safety update is amazing on Alice. Worth even 10 years!! Great job Disney!!!

    Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise is a great start. Can’t wait for the preview and hoping to take a photo with Groot. How hard would it be to have have a costume with electronics for him to keep repeating “I am Groot ” to everyone he meets in the park? If Universal could do those HUGE Transformers walking around…

    Galaxy, Frozen, Star Wars and Tangled is giving the parks a modern energy. Hope DL can “let go” of its over reliance on late 80′s-early 90′s cartoons

  7. I noted no mention of Club 33 construction in today’s article. The L.A. Times had a disappointing article yesterday.(http://www.latimes.com/travel/themeparks/la-trb-club-33-disneyland-20140625-story.html). The author’s viewpoint(Court of Angels was characterized as “underused” in a seeming defense of its closure to the public)seemed geared to corporate Disney approval. This was my response: “The new Club 33 additions unfortunately include the Court of Angels, making that area off-limits to the general public. This area has been enjoyed by me and many others over the years and represents what makes Disneyland not just another amusement park. The article erroneously states the Court of Angels was underused-sounds like a Disney corporate hack’s viewpoint where profit defines an area’s use. This area should have remained open to the public, particularly given that the 1901 Lounge recently opened in California Adventure Park. If more space for wealthy clientele beyond that were needed, an expansion of the 1901 Lounge would certainly have been preferable rather than closing off an area in Disneyland open to the public since the opening of New Orleans Square in the 60′s. But I guess profit is paramount and corporate Disney always wants more slop in the trough.”

    • I read a rumor (not sure if it was confirmed) on ITM that members would need to be present for all reservations for the foreseeable future. Makes me pretty sad, my grandparents are the members, but we have them make reservations for us at least twice a year since we are AP holders.

    • The outcry on the forums over the Club 33 expansion is not warranted in my opinion. If Disney wants to squeeze more money out of the wealthy and all the general guests have to give up is a small area with flower pots and a staircase to nowhere that WAS under used then so be it. Almost every area of the park has been reconfigured in some way throughout the years….not sure why this particular one is signaling the apocalypse.

    • ^ ^ Larry Parker, I like and admire your aloquent response to the L.A. Times article about the conspicuous expansion of Club 33, which Walt apparently (and wisely) intended to be more secretive. Disney parks are better off if every guest feels like a VIP, and less like passengers walking through first class on their way to the coach seats.

      Some of the more popular airlines in the US in the last two decades have had one class. Jet Blue is still liked partly for this. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) How far will this second gilded age go?

      • ^ ^ Eloquent, not “Aloquent.”

    • When I visited Disneysea, after dinner in the magnificent SS Columbia dining hall, we walked afterwards on the deck of the giant Steamship. The tokyo parks are always jam packed, much like DLand, but this particular area, a bit off the main path only had us, and maybe 3-4 other couples there.. It was evening time, offered a great view of the entire park and one of the most “magical” moments I’ve ever experienced in a theme park. Under the greedy corporate philosophy running the US parks, this amazing area of Disney Sea could very well be seen as “underutilised”. I couldnt imagine turniing that great experience into a merchandise location or a elite only member area of the park. Thank God there are still places where Walt’s spirit is alive and well, and guest experience is the priority.

  8. Strangely, Disneyland was not the only So Cal park with power problems yesterday.

    http://www.cbs8.com/story/25900335/dozens-stuck-on-seaworld-ride-for-hours

    • ^ ^ Thanks for the line, Mortgageman.

  9. no pics of NOS construction :-/

  10. Alice in Wonderland
    We are doomed to be subjugated by society’s lowest common denominator.

    • Duh.

      ;)

  11. My skills with wood are limited to Pinewood Derby cars, but even I could fix the gazebos faster than this.

  12. Really 3 years waiting for the Alice railings? THREE YEARS? Why does time fly by so fast on MiceChat? I’d never believed it took 3 years for the Dwarf Mine either. It never seems that long to me. I’m missing major portions of my life, if that’s the case.

    And after waiting so long for the new railings, to end up with those crooked red posts, with rope. I thought it’d been more themed.

    (kidding)

  13. Just want to take a moment to thank Norman. I’m so tired of Andy’s constant jabs (Alice in Blunderland, Space Junk, Etc.). But I do admit that I enjoy his photography. It’s just a shame that it’s accompanied by such bitterness.

    So thank you Norman for a great update and presenting it like an adult.

  14. I watched the carnies putting up the Fountain Valley Summerfest the other day (it was like a mini OC Fair, with food, rides, great bands–and it was FREE, with free parking!). All the carnies wore safety tethers when working up high, putting up the Ferris Wheel, etc. Seems to me Disneyland could have done something like that for a whole lot less money and time, and still preserved the ending of Alice in Wonderland, where it felt like you were going to go off the edge.

    As for Nemo, it has converted the Subs from a family ride into a ride for four-year-olds who wouldn’t know the difference if it didn’t go underwater at all, while still showing the same (bad and extremely boring) cartoons directly out the window of the beached subs. I used to love that ride. Now I can’t stand it. And these are the clowns people want redoing the Peter Pan Ride, or anything else? Enjoy the place while you still can. One day you will wake up and it will all have been replaced by something else. Hopefully, when virtual reality arrives, I will be able to go back to the REAL Disneyland–the one with a Peoplemover, Skyway, and Subs that didn’t show kiddie cartoons.

    • Algernon, I can’t recall the last time you made a comment that did not include one or all of the following: Peoplemover, Skyway, Subs. You mention it every single time… like you are a broken record. Is this all you’ve talked about since the 90′s?

  15. I don’t know why it took them 3 freakin years to expand the outdoor Alice track and put up that railing… I mean wow. But, I does look nice. Makes the attraction look brand new. I like it. And hopefully the new additions to the indoor portion end up being awesome. This is one of my favorite Fantasyland Dark Rides. For those that keep asking these questions:

    Why were both sides of the track expanded?
    Why didn’t they just put retractable railing?

    The answer is simply this: The ride vehicles allow guests to exit from the left side, but the emergency lap bar release peddle is on the left, necessitating an expansion on both sides. Also because the original ride track was too narrow for guests to walk past a stuck vehicle on the vine, this was a major safety “no no”. And finally, retractable railing was not installed because you either have to have someone go up and set up the railing anyway, (which takes time and is dangerous for that person since they are the one setting it up) and an automatic railing can stall or not work during a power failure, or poor maintenance (which also costs more in the long run than a permanent railing)

    So in conclusion, the permanent railing was necessary so it could always be there, rain or shine, during power failure, earthquakes that could make traversing the track while setting up the retractable railing -making it dangerous during after-shocks. This was the best solution to the railing and safety exit problem.

    • ” The ride vehicles allow guests to exit from the left side, but the emergency lap bar release peddle is on the left” -stupid me, I mean to say: *the emergency lap bar release peddle is on the RIGHT*

    • I just want to say that I love your contributions to the columns, ayalexander. You give a good, solid, practical view on what Disneyland does that is great to see. It’s so easy to fly off with armchair Imagineering, but you’re able to shed light on exactly why something is the way it is. Thanks!

      • Thanks Cory! I try to help out, and try to have people see things from as many angles as possible.