California Adventure’s finishing touches, Flag retreat, Happy Camper, Fantasy Faire construction +MORE

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

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Published on July 09, 2012 at 1:12 am with 29 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 writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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29 Comments

Comments for California Adventure’s finishing touches, Flag retreat, Happy Camper, Fantasy Faire construction +MORE are now closed.

  1. Thanks Andy

  2. Great update as always. Love the patriotic Buena Vista Street shots. Thanks for showing the continuing addition of small changes in DCA. I noticed that Hollywoodland window a week or so ago and really like the vintage stuff inside of it. Small steps in the right direction all around the park.

    I wonder why the fossils were removed…? They seemed to fit in (kinda reminded me of the La Brea Tar Pits which is right in the heart of LA/Hollywood) and were non obtrusive…hmmm

    And thank you for showing the wonderful Happy Camper in Grizzy Peak. He is such a small yet great and relaxing addition to the area. Along with the dulcimer playing “camper” you reported here, there is another man who comes out and plays campfire songs on an acoustic guitar. I believe the guitar guy is actually the same one who down the campfire stories underneath the huge hearth in the GCH lobby.

  3. Another great update!

    I have to find some way to make to DCA from the East Coast.

  4. Great Update!!!!

  5. Great update. Hate though that I always have to zoom in super close on my iPad to get rid of the annoying follow sidebar that does nothing but annoy people. Links to social sites that used to be popular with people 1-3 years ago should be on the top and bottom of pages and not a constant annoyance/distraction.

    The painfully annoying ads for articles with plenty of links to, serves no purpose other than to annoy, and cheapen the great work you do.

    • We are working on that eicarr. That sidebar was something included with the base theme we are using and we haven’t had the time to research removing it and that bottom right pop-up for mobile users. No worries, it’s on our list.

  6. THe problem with glow with the show is you’re paying for something you or your kid can’t even enjoy unless you bring a mirror to watch yourself. How is the person wearing the hat getting anything out of doing so? A glow with the show sword, gloves, or spinning thing might sell.

  7. It’s interesting that they’d take the time and money to remove the faux fossil in the rock work of Condor Flats (and such touch-up work is a good sign that the park’s overseers have a watchful eye), and yet be so blase about the big, bulky floodlights and loud speakers that are attached to the light poles of what’s supposed to be a street in LA from over 70 years ago. But I’m assuming such streets never came with modern-looking floodlights and hanging loud-speaker boxes?

    I originally thought (incorrectly, thank goodness!) that the entire street didn’t have actual curbs, but I’m still baffled why they chose to make the front area, including Oswald’s and the small town square where the flag pole is located, totally flush with the ground level. A bit of the illusion of Buena Vista being a real street is undermined by the decision to do that.

    • The lack of curbs near the front gates is for safety reasons. During the morning and evening rush of people coming and going, curbs would be a hazard. It’s a bit of necessary creative license. But the rest of the street does have its curbs.

      I agree with you that it looks a little funny near the front gate. But I think it was something they had to do.

    • No disrespect meant, but can we all agree that this will be the last comment about the damn curbs at DCA?!! Comment about the rides, attractions, shops, restaurants, flowers, whatever, but I’m tired reading about the curbs! I’ve been to the new DCA twice and looking at the curbs was never part of my agenda. What’s next, critiquing the manhole covers?

      Sorry, I had to vent. Great update, Andy

      • Actually, I think the fact that folks still have a strong opinion about them means that it likely won’t be the final comments regarding the curbs. It’s good for Disney to hear these sorts of things so they know how their guests really feel. And as for the curbs at the entry of DCA, something feels ‘out of place’ about them. Thankfully, the street as a whole is fantastic. But I’d wager that folks will be talking about these “curbs” and asking why they look the way they do until Disney does something about them.

  8. Princess Meet and Greet belongs in Fantasyland, not Main Street. And the Penny Arcade should be a penny arcade, not a candy shop. Each time they dilute the experience, they move an inch closer to the tipping point. Right now they are pretty much the only game in town with every place else having nothing but thrill rides. But one day there will be a new kid in town, and, like Las Vegas, they will pay for all the bogus changes they have made in diminishing business.

  9. I’m really surprised how slowly work is progressing on the Fantasy Faire, you’d think with all that’s going on they’d want to get it done and maybe even open it a little early.

    Nice to see something new in the Grizzly Peak area, after seeing the new Hong Kong Disneyland Runaway Mine Cars I would so love to see it incorporated into the Grizzly Peak area, no reason they can’t have an abandoned mine in a national park and how perfect for the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail area which is dead space really.

    I wonder if Earl of Sandwich WILL open this summer, it’s really not looking good with so much work left to do to matc the artist impressions and only 7 weeks of summer left (going by a 3 month season cycle)

    Love the updates as usual, thank you for always getting them up there for us, it helps with my Disneyland withdrawal symptoms ;)

  10. So only three weeks after opening Cars Land, and the parks are that empty on Saturdays?

    Wow. Did they pop the champagne a bit early, or what? Seems to me they might be adjusting the pricing down a bit next year.

    • Simple matter of the APs being gone. Lines may not be at ridiculous levels but most guests waiting in them are full fare-paying customers. Better for Disney’s bottom line, and better for overall guest satisfaction.

      • I dunno, supposedly a third of the APs are Premiums, and we aren’t blocked out.

    • I also find it kind of laughable that the crowd projections are SO HIGH when in reality the parks are now easier to navigate than we’ve seen in years. I was there on Sunday and both parks had people in them but wait times weren’t so bad. Carsland gets the most traffic, but even those waits have become more bearable. Disneyland is a breeze – getting on Splash Mountain in the middle of a summer weekend with a wait of 15 minutes? Amazing!

      Anyhow the crowd projections really need to be adjusted. All of the normal tourists are being scared away because they think the parks are going to be nightmarishly crowded when in fact they aren’t at all.

  11. Awesome as always Andy. My only way to see DLR is through your words and your camera. I see all of the wonderful additions to the parks both big and small. I know that DCA is on the rise to where it should have been. I hope that it maintains that focus for a very long time. I can see the “The Bean Counters” are happy with what they see too. The park is full of “Full Pricers” That looks good for bottom line. Not too sure about the interactive Mouse ears though, 25$ for someone else to see the show. Hmmm….

    • Sadly, I think the $25 ears are too high priced. It’s a shame too, because Disney is starting to incorporate them into other shows and attractions and they are wonderful! Perhaps they’ll see the light and lower the price.

      • I was standing behind a dozen or so of them Friday night and they work really well, but at $25 they only work when you’re around the show. If they “magically” came on when you were at home during showtimes via wifi they’d make you feel connected to the park even when you are disconnected.

      • I wish the actual hat design was, well, nicer…it looks too Mickey Urban right now for my taste. But because they are so cool, I am planning to purchase a pair. It’s cheaper for me to buy those ears than getting a cute top at the resort for myself. At least my AP will give me a discount.

  12. We stayed at the DLR from 6/19 to 6/23 and last Friday night and Saturday. The crowds don’t seem to have decreased. Disneyland is less crowded than this time last year. It was getting to the point that we reconsidered annual passes and our DVC because it’s just not as much fun when it’s so packed. Disneyland has seemed less crowded than DCA. I’m sure this will even back out.

    The quick fast pass distribution for Radiator Springs Racers is crazy, but lines were down to 95 minutes Saturday night. Much better that our 4 1/2 hour quest on the night of 6/19. FANTASTIC ride, however. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is fun and the shorter wait makes it more desirable. Luigi’s Tires has a beautiful and imaginative queue, like all three new rides, but with the slow turn around, so-so tire movement, breakdowns and those exiting playing with the balls this ride isn’t very fun.

    The new eateries are great as is the improved traffic flow throughout the park. Got a great roast beef sandwich at the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe, and a nice beef meal at Flo’s to compliment the new Paradise Garden Grill.

    If only there was something to do inside Grizzly Peak…

    Once again stalling repeatedly on Autopia and seeing all of the under used space in “Tomorrowland” I sure hope the next billion is sunk into that space.

  13. Great update. Over the past months we have experienced some absolutely HUGE news about our parks and the danger now is to be a bit jaded. Last week I thought to myself, “Avocados? That is all we can update about?” Well, it can’t always be a new land opening can it? ;)

    Now we get to dig into the details. My opinion (and everyone’s got one, right?) about the Glow with Show ears is that for them to be effective, they need to be gathered in one place. The purchasers should be given a special ticket to a specific, highly visible area of the show. Returning guests can be placed in less optimal but still high visibility viewing areas. This justifies the high price and encourages the peer pressure advertising of AP’s. Tracking of sales can done fairly easily and, if necessary, returning guests with Glow w/t Show ears can be allowed entry to the main Glow Area on a first come first served basis. This also takes some of the sting out of the price. Over all I LOVE the look of them and found the videos of special events (where everyone had ears) to be exceptionally beautiful.

    We were at DCA just after the fossils were removed. In talking with two cast members who were doing some touch up to the “rocks” comments were made about the “visual flow” and the removal of certain props. I will not miss the jet smashing out of the front of the Condor Flats burger joint, but the fossils were pretty cool. Nevertheless I do understand and support the decision. That said, I agree that the speakers and lights could have better theme integration. Actually, the jet was pretty cool too.

    We love Grizzly Peak Area and the prospect of some hammered dulcimer music is pleasant. The Redwood Creek Challenge is woefully under appreciated, but also, I believe, a little misguided. It is a cool playground for the kids, but it truly is “just” a playground. It is also fairly quiet and cool spot to wander when the population and temperature of the park gets to hot and heavy. A churro and a coke and about half an hour of sitting in Redwood Creek always recharges us. That said, it is valuable property and something a little more Disney can be designed and applied. Plus it!

    Thanks to Dusty and all who are working on Plussing the MiceChat site. It continues to look great and greater.

  14. I was at the AP “Glow with The Show” event. It was spectacular. Unfortunately, I will never see that again. It’s very unlikely the entire audience will be wearing the special Mickey ears again.

  15. Happy Camper does a fine job with the music. I loved the Ring of Fire part big time. Not much of a Jonny Cash fan, but the song is awesome.