Disneyland celebrated the Fourth of July holiday with special fireworks and live entertainment but the holiday weekend brought some new magic and marvelous sneak peeks to the park. In Fantasyland, the classic Alice in Wonderland dark ride reopened with a safety-retrofitted outdoor portion and spectacular new enhancements inside. Meanwhile, a 3D preview of Marvel‘s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie has temporarily replaced Tomorrowland’s Captain EO. And in Frontierland, props are in place for the new Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush! interactive experience, which will debut later this week.

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!

Get a closer look at today’s update! Click on any photo in today’s blog to see a larger, high-resolution version.

It’s a big update today with an in-depth look at the new Alice in Wonderland changes, a preview of the interactive Frontierland experience and much, much more! Let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland, U.S.A!

The turnstiles on the far western side of Disneyland’s main entrance have emerged from refurbishment.

This year’s Fourth of July holiday has come and gone at Disneyland but if you were at the parks last week, you might not have realized it was even a holiday weekend. Crowds continue to be very manageable as the summer season continues, thanks to Annual Passholder blackouts for the season.

Special performances by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and showings of the popular Celebrate America! fireworks show could be enjoyed July 1-4 this year.

You can watch the show below:

A look at Disneyland wait times on the afternoon of July 4th.

Back in Big Thunder Ranch, the Springtime Roundup has switch over to summer mode and gone full patriotic.

Over at California Adventure, the park offered its Fourth of July World of Color pre-show only on the night of July 4th this year and beyond that, there wasn’t any other holiday offerings available.

Carthay Circle Restaurant is now serving up its summer menu

Refreshed Wonders

On Thursday, Disneyland’s classic Alice in Wonderland dark ride soft opened for a few hours, showing off its wonderful new enhancements and upgrades. The ride has been closed since mid-March to finally install a permanent fix for the outdoor portion of the ride track that had been covered in safety scaffolding and tarps since July 2010.

The elevated, outdoor portion of the track (commonly referred to as “the vine”) has been expanded and retrofitted with new safety railings in parts. The safety additions come following a 2010 incident in which a Cal/OSHA inspector recommended, but did not mandate, the addition of safety railings for the vine. Disney voluntarily added the temporary scaffolding and safety rails in 2010 following the inspector’s recommendation, and finally installed a permanent fix this spring. The result is a vine that is now significantly wider, with new anchor rails for maintenance employees to connect their harnesses to as well as permanent safety railing along portions of the track.

The new expanded vine looks a lot better than I had expected. It may not be ideal, but it doesn’t look bad, save for the unnecessary decorative cutouts along the edge of the track.

The cutouts aren’t great — just unnecessary decoration pretending to be theming.

The vines painted on the underside of the track are a nice touch and it’s great to see the landscaping under there again after it had been covered by scaffolding and tarps for the last four years.

Pictures don’t do the landscaping back in there justice — it’s really lovely to see this space open and green again.

The four-month closure also brought a number of enhancements inside the ride as well, including the addition of new projected animation effects that have been blended seamlessly with the existing attraction.

New animation effects greet guests immediately as they fall down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. I’m usually pretty weary of projections integrated into existing rides but I was very pleasantly surprised as soon as I entered the show building. The new projections throughout are pretty flawlessly integrated; they’re vibrant, crisp and feel natural to their surroundings, not awkward or forced. Below, Alice chases the White Rabbit at the end of the rabbit hole.

Cards fly up behind an angry Red Queen

Animated cards try to stop you from exiting onto the vine.

Outside, riders experience the new, wider vine. The view to your right when you first emerge is now permanently blocked by a new Castle wall and rock work extension.

Looking back:

…and along the rest of the vine, the wider track puts an end to the mild thrill you used to get zipping along that track, feeling like your caterpillar might fly off at any moment. The mild, but madcap thrill you used to get bursting out into the sunlight and zipping down that track is now pretty much gone. Still, the charming novelty of emerging outside in the middle of the ride is still there and it remains a unique experience.

New themed safety railing along some portions of the track. Thankfully this isn’t up along the entire thing

Back inside for the ride’s finale… New projections and animated tea pots replace the spinning clouds and Cheshire Cat face.

The Mad Tea Party scene got freshened up and Alice is now at the table.

Below, we have before and after ride through videos. The before video was shot in January, showing the ride as it appeared just before it closed in March. The after video was shot on Friday, on its first official day of operation following its refurbishment.

Alice in Wonderland — Before:

Alice in Wonderland — Now:

Overall, the ride looks really fantastic. The Imagineers did an excellent job with all of the interior enhancements, bringing in new projection technology and integrating it with the practical sets and props in a way that reinvigorates a classic while feeling very natural and appropriate. If this is what we can expect for the rest of Disneyland’s Fantasyland dark rides, then I am very excited. Adding projections to existing rides has always been a mixed bag, with more misses than hits. Additions like the Davy Jones waterfall in Pirates of the Caribbean, Constance (the bride) in the Haunted Mansion, or the projection-heavy Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage are examples that come to mind as awkward or unconvincing implementations of projections in existing rides, but recent additions in Indiana Jones Adventure, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and now Alice in Wonderland show how this technology can really work to enhance existing rides without feeling unnecessary or forced. As for the vine, Disney’s continued voluntary retrofitting of rides and structures throughout the park with new fall safety equipment seems a bit excessive. These fall safety additions to rides like Alice that have been without major incident for 50+ years seem a little unnecessary, but if this is how things have to be, then at least the vine isn’t covered by that temporary scaffolding anymore. The permanent fixes at least look nice, even if the ride experience on the vine may have been lessened. Nevertheless, kudos to the team that worked on this project — it really shines.

New Frontiers

Over in Frontierland, the new Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush! interactive experience officially debuts on Wednesday. The new experience is part of Disney’s continued efforts to make the parks more interactive experiences through attractions and shows. This new experience will allow guests to enter an in-progress game/story where their actions in the game can affect its direction or outcome. Props for the new experience could already be found in Frontierland last week and more are certainly on their way before Wednesday’s launch.

Identical signs near the entrance of Frontierland and by the Golden Horseshoe are in place for the new experience.

Disney has filled in Cast Members on how the new interactive game, which will operate daily, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., will work and we have some of the information on it below.

Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!

Frontierland and its neighbor, Rainbow Ridge, are in the midst of a good, ol’ fashioned land feud. Rainbow Ridge – a once-booming mining town – has dried up, and they have their eyes set on Frontierland. The good folk of Frontierland want to keep the town safe and free of outlaws and bandits. Rumors are beginning to spread about gold being found under the town and in mines belonging to Frontierland. Whether the rumors are true or not, the desperate folks of Rainbow Ridge have one thing on their minds: take over Frontierland!

Game Play:

Guests can pick up a Legends of Frontierland map in Frontierland and join the game at one of seven stations throughout Frontierland. Guests playing will be identified with a special name tag and will be expected to adhere to the following rules:

  • We’re always respectful in Frontierland
  • We solve all disputes by using Rock/Paper/Scissors or the “The River Water Challenge”
  • Be mindful of others and their property
  • No need to climb or crawl
  • Always stay on the marked paths
  • Always travel at a leisurely stroll
  • Guests and Cast Members alike will be able to use a “Time Out” hand gesture to pause the game at any time for safety reasons or other concerns. The time out stays in effect until the Guest or Cast Member says “time in.”

    Game Stations

    The whole of Frontierland is the setting and gameplay area for Legends of Frontierland, but there are seven stations where more activities will take place and where Guests will be able to earn and spend “bits,” or the currency in the gameplay.

  • Trading Post: This is the meeting hub for new and soon-to-be, citizens of Frontierland. Guests may learn how to join in on the play and gather news on the developing story. Specialty merchandise may be purchased to add to their character’s wardrobe, including mustaches, beards, costume pieces and accessories.
  • The Map: The map acts as a leader board and allows citizens to know where their town stands in the “land grab” Rainbow Ridge is waging against Frontierland. This location allows citizens the opportunity to collect deeds to the town’s various parcels and structures using “bits” that they’ve earned.
  • Telegraph Station: This is the information center for the Frontier. Telegraph operators may receive news and send messages via a telegraph about notorious outlaws that have taken up residence in town. The townsfolk at this post deliver the mail, while drawing up outlaw bounties for the Sheriff’s Office.
  • The Jail and Sheriff’s Office: It is here that outlaw Guests serve time for crimes committed or make elaborate plans for escape. Guest deputies may draw up wanted posters, form posses, and bring the bad guys, once again, to justice.
  • Hide Out: This haven provides Rainbow Ridge outlaws an opportunity to secretly meet and share the latest happenings in their takeover of Frontierland. It is here that deals are made and plans are hatched.
  • Miss Rose Talent Agency: Inside the Golden Horseshoe, the Miss Rose Talent Agency prides itself on finding the best talent in the west. They hold auditions for musicians, singers, dancers, jugglers, magicians, and basically any type of act that people will want to watch. Plus, they are always looking for new set designs and costume drawings.
  • Card Table: Inside the Golden Horseshoe there is an ongoing game of “High Card.” Two players set down a card, and the player with the highest card is awarded “bits.” Here you can sit with local heroes hearing about their adventures or you find yourself with a band of outlaws as they plot their next escapade or confess to their latest crime.
  • Gameplay money (“bits”) comes in three values — wooden nickels (5), pyrite (50), and game coins (100) and are only used for buying land in the game. Players will be able to achieve one of five different “status” levels in the game, ranging from “Friend” to “Legend.”

    The Golden Horseshoe and L.B.’s Extraordinary Elixirs

    Of course, there will be things you can buy. In addition to the previously-mentioned costume pieces available at the Trading Post, the Golden Horsehoe will have a strange “hidden menu” where you can order drinks and food in various “styles.”

    River Water: Punch filled with Rose Color Verjus and unsweetened Lemon Citric Acid. This may be obtained as part of the “River Water Challenge” to settle disputes. This lip puckering potable is used to aid in a good, ol’ fashioned staring contest.

    Hidden Menu:

  • Wild style: Add wild raspberry syrup to root beer
  • Campfire style: Add toasted marshmallow syrup to root beer
  • Plain Jane style: Add vanilla syrup to root beer
  • Eureka style: Add caramel syrup to root beer
  • Outlaw Style: Add mixture of black beans, roasted white corn, red onion, Serrano chilies, tomato, green red & yellow peppers, garlic, cilantro, tabasco, olive oil and lime! Available atop any entree.
  • There will also be a “L.B.’s Extraordinary Elixirs” cart in Frontierland selling special “elixirs” that come in three varieties that give players special “powers.”

    So far, the new props and sets don’t look great, but hopefully it’ll all look better when it opens later this week.

    If you’re confused already, don’t worry because you probably aren’t alone. The game sounds pretty complex for a theme park setting, not to mention potentially problematic with guests (sort of) competing against each other and able to put each other in “jail.” Add in the money and rankings that are also part of the game and it’ll be interesting to see how all of this actually works in practice. Will guests join in or will it be too involved for the average tourist?


    In Tomorrowland, the new 3D extended preview of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy officially opened in the Magic Eye Theater on the Fourth of July. Below, a poster for the 3D preview replaced the Captain EO poster in the eastern main entrance tunnel.

    The Captain EO Tribute marquee was replaced with a rather nice marquee for the Guardians preview.

    At night, the marquee lights up beautifully.

    Movie posters replaced the Captain EO posters.

    The 10-minute preview features a full scene from the film followed by an extended trailer. It’s a nice diversion in Tomorrowland and the movie looks like a lot of fun.

    Nearby, the Starcade is stocked with new Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise.

    Kingdom Construction

    [center]Fenced In[/center]
    Back on Main Street, the new Guest Flow Corridors will really start to get underway today, with construction walls expected to have gone up overnight in front of an old facade in the northeastern corner of Town Square.

    This space was formerly an outdoor dining patio for several restaurants over the years, including the Hills Bros. Coffee Garden, the American Egg House and Town Square Cafe. The patio was connected to a larger restaurant space next door, which is now used as overflow Disney Showcase retail space. The cash wrap space inside the shop was formerly an omelette station during the American Egg House years.

    This facade, which has changed little over the years, also served as a backdrop for never-realized expansions like Liberty Street.

    It’s unclear how much this space will change over the next several months as part of the Guest Flow Corridor project, but in case it glows away forever, we’ve documented here for posterity.

    The existing parade gate next to the old Egg House patio

    Down on Center Street, the Main Street Lockers space will reopen on Tuesday as a temporary home for the First Aid facility.

    The existing First Aid facility and the already-closed Disney Wish Lounge at the end of Main Street will be slightly relocated and expanded.

    The Wish Lounge has temporarily relocated to the Main Street conference room backstage, behind the Tour Gardens.

    The construction will also mean changes backstage for Cast Members, with routes narrowed and break areas closing later this month during construction.

    [center]Members Only[/center]
    In New Orleans Square, work on the major and somewhat controversial Club 33 expansion continued even on the Fourth of July holiday as crews work hard to get the project wrapped up by the deadline later this month.

    The re-done facade here has been aged and looks to be finished. The large picture window has replaced two smaller windows that featured awnings and faux balconies. It’s not exactly an aesthetic improvement from the ground, but surely the views for Club members will be lovely.

    With the club’s main entrance moving to the former Court of Angels, rumors are now circulating that addresses in New Orleans Square might be shuffled around a bit so the address marker for the club’s new entrance won’t be out of place…

    Work on the new overhead bridge between the main Club and the new jazz lounge continues…

    Work on the backside of the French Market is wrapping up.

    The balcony was turned into a stairwell for new emergency egress stairs.

    Fall safety work also continues on the rooftops of New Orleans Square…

    If you know someone with Club 33 access, now might be the time to stock up on club logo merchandise. The great, original logo will be rendered obsolete when the club reopens later this month with a new logo that has been met with criticism online. A lot of Club merch can still be found at its temporary home in the Grand Californian Hotel’s gift shop.

    [center]Dried Up[/center]
    In Tomorrowland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is still dry as refurbishment continues, with repainting and repairs underway in the lagoon.

    [center]Space Junk[/center]
    Meanwhile, Space Mountain has reopened after its refurbishment but the exterior is still only partially clean…

    Merch Madness

    In California Adventure, a popup Planes: Fire and Rescue shop has been added next to the Fly ‘n’ Buy store in Condor Flats

    The billboard between Condor Flats and Gizzly Peak has been taken over by Planes again for the movie release

    More Frozen merchandise continues to roll out to meet the unprecedented demand

    This and That

    Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle recently got some nighttime lighting upgrades.

    Perhaps the most notable change is the addition of a new light on the crest above the drawbridge.

    A look at the back of the castle

    Out in Downtown Disney, a big screen has been added between Earl of Sandwich and ESPN Zone so guests could watch the World Cup.

    Problem is that there’s no seating, so guests huddle under the shade of the AMC Theaters and watch the screen from a distance.

    Over the weekend, Coca Cola set up shop by ESPN Zone and invited guests to #ShareaCoke.

    You could get two free personalized mini cans of Coca Cola — one with your name, and the other with a friend’s name.

    And over at the WonderGround, artist Amy Mebberson is the artist-in-residence this month and is painting live in the shop weekend nights through July.

    Amy’s lovely interpretations of Disney princesses are available to buy

    Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

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    Weekly News & Information Round-Up
    Weekly Theme Park Hours
    July 7 — 13, 2014
    [B]Disneyland Park[/B] [B]California Adventure[/B]
    Daily: 8 am – 12 am Daily: 8 am – 10 pm
    [CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
    visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
    [center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
    [b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
    • Club 33: Reopens July 18 with refurbished facilities and new jazz club-themed lounge area.
    • [B]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/B] Closed August 25-November 13 for refurbishment.
    • [B]Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage:[/B] Reopens September 27, 2014.
    [b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
    • [B]Blue Sky Cellar:[/B] Listed as reopening September 28, 2014 on Cast Member document.
    [b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
    • Hearthstone Lounge: Closed for refurbishment.
    • Napa Rose Restaurant: Closed for kitchen renovation starting in early August.
    Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

    July 7 — 13, 2014


    • Crowds at Disneyland are lower this summer than in the recent past, with no discounted blockout day passes available this year. The crowd patterns are changing as well: many regular guests are visiting California Adventure, which is better able to absorb crowds in its walkways.
    • There are plenty of rooms available throughout the week, even at the Disney hotels.
    • The weather looks beautiful this week, with temps topping out in the low 80s.
    • The new Legends of Frontierland interactive experience starts this week, and the newly refurbished Alice in Wonderland has become the most popular attraction in Fantasyland with waits of over 40 minutes.
    • 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.

    [center]Headline Roundup
    A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
    • Disney Historian Michael Crawford has launched a Kickstarter to self-publish a book with Disney history essays. (Kickstarter)
    • Halloween Time will return to Disneyland earlier this year, starting September 12 and running through October 31. Mickey’s Halloween Party will be offered on 14 nights this year. (Disney Parks Blog)
    • A jury has found Disneyland negligent in a 2010 Splash Mountain accident but not a significant factor in a guest’s injuries. (LA Times)
    • The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco has added a new interactive Audio Animatronics exhibit featuring a replica of the Enchanted Tiki Room’s Barker Bird. (Walt Disney Family Museum)
    • A fire recently caused extensive damage to a Johnny Rocket’s restaurant inside Knott’s Berry Farm. (NBC LA)
    • Disney will release special Pirates of the Caribbean t-shirts online only this week. (Disney Parks Blog)
    Okay, that wraps up this week’s super-sized edition of Dateline Disneyland! What do you think of the new Alice in Wonderland enhancements? Will you play the new Legends of Frontierland game? Please join in the discussion and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

    Your donations help keep Dateline Disneyland alive! We’ve only been able to bring Dateline Disneyland to you each week because of your help. Please consider helping us out by donating via PayPal — click here!

    For more Disneyland news, be sure to read MiceChat’s weekly In the Parks blog. And be sure to check out our sister blog, Dateline Disney World – a fantastic weekly photo blog covering Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

    Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
    [B]- Andy[/B]

    Support Dateline Disneyland

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    FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.
    • 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.