Disneyland celebrates the Fourth of July with new Wonders, Marvels and Frontiers

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

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

Published on July 07, 2014 at 5:07 am with 40 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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  • danielz6

    Wow the frontierland game looks like a terrible idea! Are people really going to waste time playing a game or stand in jail after paying up to 96$ to enter this park when they can be riding rides and seeing shows?

    Andy, stunning pics as usual, especially the fireworks.

    • Cory Gross

      I would totally waste my time playing a game or standing in a jail! Legends of Frontierland looks interesting and I regret that I won’t be able to play it, since I’m not going to Disneyland anytime soon.

    • Westsider

      To install this game in summer, when most APs are blocked out, is the dumbest part.

      If you are an AP and have already been on Pirates and Big Thunder five times this year, of course you are so starved for entertainment as you casually hang out on Sunday afternoon, after church and a Target run, that you would want to play some contrived mystery game.

      But for actual tourists who only visit Disneyland occasionally, you know – the types of visitors Walt and his team designed the park for, wasting time playing a game with strangers is a huge waste of money when you could be on Pirates and Thunder and Indy and Mansion and…

      The AP payment plan mentality strikes again.

      • Cory Gross

        I’m a tourist and I would play it.

      • Golden

        Only 5 times??? I’d be hard pressed to be bored that quickly! And of course, Walt did design his park for ‘all who come’… I think that includes AP holders.

        I’m with Cory though… I’m a tourist, and if it is well executed I’d probably give it a go.

  • LoveStallion

    Alice looks good. Glad they didn’t tinker too much or – heaven forbid – bring it in line with Tim Burton’s Alice. I’m surprised they succumbed to Snow White-itis, though and actually put Alice in the ride. I don’t think anyone struggle before with the idea that one was taking one’s own adventure in Wonderland. Now we are, once more, viewers from the outside.

    I also thought they were supposed to radically update the Queen animatronic? I love the cards behind here, but wasn’t it reported she would have a projected face?

    All in all, a very nice update. Good to see it open again. The original vine will be missed, but they did the best they could under the circumstances and I think it’ll be fine.

    Also, the park looked so quiet on the 4th!

    Re: Club 33. I wasn’t aware of the new logo. Now I am. It looks like something a middle school graphic design class would come up with.

    And that new facade with the larger window just does not mix well with the area around it.

    • Cory Gross

      Good point about how inserting Alice brings it more in line with the spectatorship side of the spectatorship-vs.-experientialism debate. I just hope that those three or so times she shows up are as unobtrusive as the one time Snow White shows up. Thankfully the ride has good bones that prohibit making Alice herself the focus of every scene, like Little Mermaid has.

      And yeah, the new Club 33 logo reminds me of something from a Geocities website.

    • Tinkbelle

      Alice was in the ride before the refurb. She was a very spooky looking Alice.

      • LoveStallion

        Where? Watch the before and after videos. No Alice and then yes Alice.

      • 4th Gen Disney Fan

        Right. She was “hidden” during the caterpillar scene.

    • Tinkbelle

      The “before” video shown in this article is too dark for you to see her. I don’t know if it will let me post a link on here or not but here goes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNlovOc3jdI . As you were leaving the Golden Afternoon garden room you came to the caterpillar smoking and Alice was standing right across from him holding a rose.

    • Algernon

      No, in my opinion, they didn’t do the best they could on Alice, mainly because they have NO imagination. That’s why they bought out all those tired old brands that were already at the end of the product life cycle, like Marvel, Muppets and Star Wars. All I can say about what I’ve just seen about Alice is “MONSTRISITY!” And projections? Talk about cheap and inappropriate. I have a great idea: why not make the entire ride one big projection. Better yet, put it on DVD, and I can just stay home and watch it.

      I know not what course others may take, but count me out…

      –it ain’t MY Disneyland anymore! (doesn’t look too crowded anymore, either–especially on the Fourth of July??!!! Good God!!!

      • FixitKronk

        Perhaps you would like disneyland better with the people mover, mission to the moon and circle vision? It was never “your” disneyland. The parks continue to utalise new tech and sometimes it works (big thinder) sometimes it doesn’t (nemo) – but it will always evolve. I wish my 6 year old could have played in the stockade on Tom sawyers island like I did. But the trade off is getting to enjoy fantasmic.

  • mightymicroscope33

    I hate how they have the guardians of the galaxy attraction poster in the entrance tunnel.
    I do like the additions to Alice in Wonderland. I think the new frontierland game is a waste of money. I want to see what ends up coming out of it but I don’t expect much. I could be wrong and it might be a great way to spend a day in disneyland. Overall, Disneyland is doing well this summer.

  • DisneyLover66

    Wow! Super update. Thank you so much for the colorful photos and information.

  • JCSkipr79

    So how long before Legends turns into this decade’s Light Magic?


    Hi, I look forword to your articles each Monday, and I thank you for that.

    You have a really good point that the trim on the new alice ramp is unnecessary. Also, a more minimal railing on the back would have been a good idea. They also could have made the ramp more like the leaf it replaced. I think the whole attraction should also have had a “Less is More” point of view.

    Inside, I like some of the projection effects, but some of them are a real disconnect for me. I don’t like the mix of movie Alice and static Alice. In the Golden Afternoon scene, as well, the cartoon flowers make the animatronic ones look dated and somewhat tacky.

    I’m sad they didn’t do the projection effect on the Queen of Hearts’ face, and apparently won’t be using that effect in the other dark rides. That is a good way to mix the animation with the animatronics in a seem less way.

    The Fantasyland dark rides are my favorite attractions, so I’m a little biased. I do love what they’ve done with Big Thunder and Indiana Jones but those are more realistic attractions and the projections are more natural.

    Again, thanks for the columns!!!!

    (I reserve the right to miss spell everything).

  • phruby

    So were is the new AA Queen of Hearts with the face projection that was supposedly a done deal as stated by this web site?

  • eicarr

    The Guardians of the Galaxy additions are exciting. For once a tunnel attraction poster is doing its job… alerting regular guests to something new and cutting edge. While it all breaths fresh/modern life into the park, I think they tried to keep the price point too low on the Rocket Racoon plush(looks like awkward Roadkill in his spacesuit).

    I value california castmember lives and the improvements brought on by OSHA.

  • braggfamily

    Anyone know when Haunted Mansion is scheduled to go down to install the holiday overlay? I don’t see it on the refurbishment schedule. I’m assuming it will go down in late August as “Halloween Time” is coming early this year.

  • bayouguy

    Excited for the Alice in Wonderland attraction. I don’t mind the vines. Everything looks great.
    Looks like the better way to control crowds is adding more blockout days and limiting passport options, instead of raising ticket prices. Seems like Disney has demonstrated no needs, except for greed, to raise prices.

  • skoolpsyk

    lol, $32 for chicken ravioli

  • jawknee

    So Disneyland is LARPing now?

  • gimackenzie

    Another great update! I really am only commenting to offer huge kudos on the spectacular photos of the fireworks. Those are amazing shots! Capturing a good image of fireworks is very difficult to do and you’ve really done a superb job here. I found myself opening each one and just marveling at it full screen. The shots with the carousel and Matterhorn were especially great. I’d frame a few of those! Keep up the fabulous work! It’s much appreciated!

  • Carnation Dave

    Great update! Alice looks good. Maybe it took so long because they wanted to do the improvements inside too. Talking about the Egg House on Main St., it brought back a flood of memories. I used to be a demo cook in the lobby of the restaurant when it opened in 1978. Worked there for 2 years along with the Carnation Ice Cream too.

  • Carnation Dave

    Great update! Alice looks good. Maybe it took so long because they wanted to do the improvements inside too. Talking about the Egg House on Main St., it brought back a flood of memories. I used to be a demo cook in the lobby of the restaurant when it opened in 1978. Worked there for 2 years and the Carnation Restaurant too.

  • Nola ron

    Love the photos always makes the start of the work week great. Alice looks good, but would have done the outer leaves dark green like those on the underside. So anyone know what and when the next referb for Fantasyland attractions, is and when.

  • Tinkbelle

    Alice in Wonderland turned out pretty well. I really like the new projections, and the railings outside aren’t horrendous (a vast improvement over what was there temporarily) and I’m glad they aren’t blocking the view on the right. The only disappointment is that the vine is so wide now.

  • red barchetta

    You guys missed that Planes characters have also been added to Soarin’s pre-show

  • Barbossa

    Alice looks great! Now I want to watch my Blu-Ray of the movie.

  • KCmike

    I always enjoy your weekly updates. It is the silver lining to my Mondays. I know it is said often but thank you for the time and consideration you do in putting these together. Your photographs are phenomenal. I don’t see you posting on flickr anymore. It looks like smugmug. Hope you continue to stay on flickr. The firework images were great. Thanks for the heads up on the Alice dark ride.

  • Susan Hughes

    Any word on if Captain EO is now gone for good? I certainly hope so. There’s just nothing “right” about that/him being in Disneyland.

  • spacemn

    I was at Disneyland this weekend and got to ride Alice in Wonderland. I really liked how the projections added depth and animation to the ride. The animatronic characters do look a little dated next to the projections of the movie characters but they give that added realism of a physical presence than any projection can do. Also, I never felt like I was a spectator watching a movie in a ridecar like The Little Mermaid but joining her on her adventures through wonderland. So seeing Alice on the ride makes sense to me.
    Anyway, Thanks for the update. I read it every week. Also, the crowds were surprising light for a holiday weekend during the summer months. I guess the blackout dates have really affected the turnout.

  • daveyjones

    1.) i will really miss the chesire in the finale tunnel on alice, with his simple gag eyeballs. the other additions and improvements look pretty good.

    2.) i think the addition of “interactive” games to the parks are super lame, and this new frontierland thing is no exception.

    3.) “tomarveland” is the best pun i’ve seen on miceage in a while.

  • ayalexander

    That Outdoor stair case under the balcony at French Market has always been there. In order for regular Cast Members like me to constantly go upstairs in French Market without hogging the elevator, we used those stairs. They were for Cast Members only. They’ve always been there.

    • jjw69

      That stairway went up to the New Orleans shop merchandise storage room.

      • ayalexander

        and to the alcohol storage room for Club 33 and for furniture storage for club 33 and for storage of French Market non-food supplies. It was a triple purpose storage room with an elevator entrance.

      • jjw69

        You should see that area now. The jazz room looks awesome!!

  • Susan Hughes

    Looks like construction on the Victorian back alley is ramping up. Construction walls are now covering the facade next to the parade gates. So it looks like that is where guests will exit.
    Cast Members have been told that during this construction, while backstage near that area, they have to treat it as if they were “onstage” because apparently “determined” guests can take a peek back there. Wouldn’t want to see your favorite Disney character in various stages of “un-show worthy” appearance.

  • PumpkinKing8788

    Andy, you are the only person to write something negative about the Alice refurb. Who cares about the vine border, no one. Sounds like it was just an excuse to complain.